Sundays at our house…
Sunday was the only day of the week that my mother was home, she and my sister Billie (before she got married at fourteen) would dress up in their fancy store bought clothes for church. I never understood the importance of dressing up when I was a child; I thought I looked fine in a shirt, jeans or even overalls. I admit that my mother had a hard time trying to make look like a little lady; I just did not have it in me. I had a dress or two, but I just soon go naked than wear one.
Daddy never went to church. She would try to make him go on Easter, his answer “That would make me a hypocrite since I don’t go any time the rest of the year. To this day, I believe he is right. I never saw my daddy smile much, but he did every Sunday when my mother made me go to church. I knew she would soon be dreading her choice in making me go to church with them; she knew that I would be “singing loud and tapping my feet” while the rest of the people as she would say, knew how to sing softly.
Mother insist that I attend that little old Southern Baptist church called Rural Grove on top of Burleson Mountain, she thought that I would get a religious foundation. I never thought much could come from watching the preacher beat the pulpit, raise his fist in the air while blaring out his stories of “hell and damnation”. You could see calmness in some, in others you saw fear, as they still smelled of the Moonshine they drained from jugs. I was never afraid, my daddy always said that if I was kind to people believed in doing good, we would know someday, I would be fine. I believed in the way of my Native American Heritage, I was part Chickasaw.
So, I sang as loud as my spirit wanted while they sang soft, accept old lady Ragsdale, many times I thought if the roof was not nailed down it would bounce up and down; I think I did hear the bell clang once. I danced barefoot in-between the hand hewed benches every once in awhile, and it did not bother me when I would hear the congregation call me a heathen child. I could hear my mother after church apologize for my actions. Heck, I always thought God and me had a good time on Sundays and I never believed in “hell and damnation”; my daddy always said how could there be a hell we are living in it here on earth. I still believe that!
Buddhist Temples, Mosque, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Protestant, Mormon, all Temples…I know that I have left many out in this writing and I apologize; wherever anyone goes to worship their personal God and pray is a good place.
Nonetheless, I knew everyone in our little church and I felt that many of them displayed their goodness in that little church…but left it there when the service was over, including my mother. As for me, I have not changed much through the years I see my God in everything. I am far from perfect, and I am not afraid to admit it, every day I am alive is a good day and every day is a good day to die, so I was taught.
Believe me when I say, I loved that little church and the singing and I loved my mother!
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