Full of grape,
I’m on bent knee”
An old Del Bloggolo childhood prayer from parochial school.
All my life I’ve had unhappy run-ins with nuns. I started way back in 1st Grade when I checked out a girl across the school yard, amazed by how she could skip rope and NOT show her panties. A nun came down the pike like a Mack truck and crashed into me, my head spinning well into the year 2000!
Of course there was the time I went to a ceremony of some sort at my sister’s church and the nun, a rather mean old witch if I do say so myself, gave instructions: ”Absolutely NO flash cameras were allowed during the ceremony!” Having a movie camera and not using a light, I figured she didn’t mean me. In my viewfinder was the ugliest, meanest, ornery kisser looking at me yelling: “I SAID NO CAMERAS!”
And of course there was the time at a fund-raiser for the Sisters of Halifax, teachers of TLW (The Little Woman) and her sibs in high school. What I was doing there was beyond me, but there I was amid all these people that had tags on that read: SETON HALL, CLASS OF_, and the barer filled in the year he or she graduated. I decided to wear one that said: Bellport High School on it. As we were leaving the event that evening, TLW and her sister decided to stop off at the little girls room while I waited in the vestibule. A nun comes over and strikes up a conversation with me. Reading my nametag she asks where I went to high school, and I mention the obvious and then state that I did go to Catholic school as a child. You’d think I quit while ahead? Think again, because I then tell her the nuns in those days were much meaner than they are today. She gives me the once over and walks away, leaving me standing there, awkwardly!
Which gets me into today’s topic: nuns. Yes, those religious ladies that walk silently, hands clasps into their sleeves, sensible shoes and: “Don’t tread on me or I’ll kick your ass” on their faces.
As I sit slouched in my chair across from mom in her hospital bed, I glance into the hall and see three ladies, dressed in civies but looking like the doomsday representatives from Hell. As is their want, they travel in threes, and don’t make noise until they are ready to smack you. When they are, they change into their ‘habits’, black with black shoes and veil and long rosary beads that are as thick as grape fruits and hurt.
Tessie, my oldest sister (much older) and I tense up, and old habit since elementary school (There’s that word again, ‘habit’!)
“We’re with Palliative care. Is this your mom?”
We’re here to find out what mom’s wants when she leaves the hospital.”
Shaking mom’s hand and stroking her forehead, the lady says: “WHAT do YOU want when you leave?”
Mom: “GET ME OUTTA HERE!”
“Well, once you are well enough, we will be taking you into rehab, and we will work very hard to make things better for you, but first you have to get your strength back.”
Mom: “Ok, but THEN get me outta here, I want to go home!”
Looking at Tessie my oldest sister (much older) and me she says: “Come with us, we need to talk.”
Leading us into this small conference room, they sit us down and begin to destroy my whole concept of what nuns are, being nice, calm and three of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met! They are killing me.