Saturday, October 30, 2010

Almost All Hallow's Eve

These are our pumpkins for this year. We have the perfect Halloween cat of course. I didn't grow up with this tradition -- mine was strictly a religious one -- remembering the dead. For Catholics, All Saints Day is a Holy Day so we shall be going to Mass Monday night. It really is lovely to remember the greats -- we have our favorite Saints. What great role models. Ignatious Press has made some excellent biopics and we've been watching them periodically. The Saints struggle just like everybody else with temptations. They give in. But they pick themselves up and try again to live holy lives.
I often think of my mother. She was a saint too. Nobody knows of all the sacrifices she made to raise us. Nobody will sing her praises. There is no glory in yelling after children who do not listen, who give you grief. But she took such pleasure in feeding us whatever little food we had, in fattening us up, in singing to us, reading to us, in sewing us clothes. One of my greatest pleasures was to lay my head upon her lap, or to tell her I had a stomach ache and stay home from school and have a free day to read. She let us. We didn't do it often, my sister and I.
We have no grave to visit. Only stories. Memories. Pictures. But she is surely in the company of Jesus and Mary and all the Saints and angels of heaven.
In our secular culture, everything must be celebrated by stripping the holy out of the holiday. Now Halloween is about pumpkins and candy. Forget about the beloved dead. I hope you will light a candle for the people you remember and love and miss who have died. Do it for them. God bless you and God bless them.


anna said...

I plan on doing exactly as you have suggested here. What beautiful memories...and what amazing pumpkins! I hope you have a wonderful halloween.

Bish Denham said...

Great pumpkins Vijaya. We do many of our holidays have very religious roots. I went to a school named All Saints, there was always a special mass on All Saints Day, Nov. 1st, a time to remember the saints.

Your mother does indeed sound like she was a saint. My favorites have long been, Joan of Arc and Francis of Assisi.

Angela said...

I love how you honor your mother throughout the year.

I remember asking my grandfather about All Saints Day back in the old country he said, "There were cookies on that day and also at weddings, but only for adults. Children weren't allowed have cookies."

It doesn't seem like such a long time ago...but I often think about the things that have changed from my grandfather's time to my childrens' time...

Vijaya said...

Anna, Bish, and Angela, thank You. There is nothing more special for the kids than dressing up and going door to door and getting candy and then returning home to survey the loot ... but at night, when all is quiet, we remember.

I only wish I had a statue of the archangel Michael in my front porch!

Anna, is that a homemade doll? I've been admiring it every time I come to the Blueboards.

Bish, I remember you telling me about your favorite Saints. And you've lost your mom so recently. I will be remembering her as well.

Angela, that's such a great story your grandfather told you. It's funny what children remember after all those years. No cookies for kids! Imagine. I miss my mother a bit too much, I suppose ... wish she could share in everything.

anna said...

Hallo Vijaya 0 yes, it's a doll I made, sold and regretted selling! I'm so glad I took some pictures first. She was sort of inspired by Frida Kahlo. Thank you for noticing her :)

Vijaya said...

Anna, way cool! BBers are so talented.

Marcia said...

*In our secular culture, everything must be celebrated by stripping the holy out of the holiday.*

So, so true! Wonderful post, Vijaya.

Molly/Cece said...

Hi Vijaya! Lovely pumpkins.
Thanks for sharing.

Write2ignite said...

We talk about the original roots of Halloween every year. Mainly b/c I am NOT a fan of Halloween! I let my kids dress up, but they are only allowed to go to our church's trunk or treat. I'm not even thrilled about that activity, but the folks who put it together are super people.

And this post about your mom - what a wonderful tribute! I must let my children read it and hear it with their hearts. Perhaps they will gain a new appreciation for All Saint's Day that they don't yet seem to have.

May the Lord bless you richly, my friend!

Vijaya said...

Marcia -- I am to bring the Holy back into our holidays. Thank you for your support.

Molly -- thank you. Our pumpkins are already falling apart ...

Donna -- I'd be honored if you let your girls read my post. It's so very difficult to raise our children counter-cultural. We are good friends with a Muslim family and they have it even harder. I admire them tremendously.

Mary Witzl said...

Your jack-o-lanterns beat ours hands down. Next year, I'm definitely going to aim for better. But we do have two black cats here and they were effortlessly atmospheric.

My mother died decades ago, but hardly a day goes by that I don't think or her or appreciate her incredible goodness. There have been many things I didn't have in life, but I am still so grateful: I know I won the mother lottery.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Mary. I didn't realize you are motherless as well and at such a young age too. Yes, we both are blessed to have such good ones, one of life's greatest blessings.