I can't believe I was sitting in church coveting the outfit of a 12-year old girl sitting in front of me. Even if it had come in my size it would have looked ridiculous on me, but I still coveted it nonetheless - and in church too. She was just so put together. She had a beautiful, breezy poncho style top over flared black pants, a purple necklace, cute little dangly flower earrings with a purple stone centre that matched the purple in her top and a funky little lilac purse. Geez, even the ponytail elastic matched. And there wasn't one single gray hair on that chestnut head of hers.
Youth really is wasted on the young.
She obviously knew she was lookin' good, but I'm sure she had to put precious little effort into it. She doesn't know how much of an effort lookin' good is when you're sliding rapidly into middle age, desperately clinging to bushes, street lamps, small children - anything to slow down the frightening plunge into old ladydom.
I distracted myself from her perfection by trying to figure out what on earth a 12-year old needs to carry in a purse for an hour at Mass. Kleenex, maybe? Aspirin? Except that's what your Mom's purse is for, so I just don't know.
Man, I wish the purse hadn't matched.
But I had a pretty good accessory with me today. My Dad. My beloved isn't Catholic so he opts out of church on Sundays. That's totally fine with me - I've never wanted him to do anything that isn't "him" just to please me. But being a singleton at church can be lonely sometimes, especially as I watch family after happy family file into the church.
So today I had company for the first time since Thomas' funeral. In fact, as I sat there trying not to covet that wonderful purpley outfit, I realized that the last time my Dad and I sat together at Mass was on that beautiful, sunny day in March when we buried Thomas.
I remember hearing my Dad trying desperately to sing the parts of the Mass that day, his velvety, perfect voice cracking in sorrow. I was glad that my beloved and I were sitting alone in the front row so I didn't have to see the pain on the faces of everyone sitting behind us. I'm so glad I don't have those faces etched in my memory.
But today was different. We laughed, chatted (yes, in church) and sang together, our voices strong and confident.
It's amazing what time can do. Yes, it drags you kicking and screaming into old age, but it also heals you just enough to give you the strength you need to carry on.