It’s been quite a weekend, and the fun started on Friday. That morning, we drove down to Mansfield to have lunch with my father, sister, and an aunt and uncle who were up from Cincinnati to visit. The afternoon was spent with our tax guy, so Carolyn is now known as “Daddy’s Little Deduction.” For dinner, exhausted by the travel and looking to celebrate both getting our taxes out of the way and the arrival of my author’s copies of Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition (which means y’all should be getting your copies any day now!), we decided to head over to Matsu and have some sushi. Carolyn sat with each of us in turn, and I’m not sure but I think she was eyeing my escolar nigiri with some interest. She had fun fiddling with chopsticks, anyway.
Saturday morning, we attended a memorial service for the father (and grandfather) of a family we’ve become close to over the last few years. They helped us plant fifty daffodils in our front-yard flower beds last fall in honor of Mom—they’re sprouting, and I hope to get some pictures soon—and their pre-teen daughter has already been a babysitter for Carolyn. Since we had a baby on our hands, we sat in the far back pew and listened to the music and testimonials. The sanctuary of the Baptist church is beautiful, with sweeping stone arches and wonderful stained glass windows, just like you remember from medieval-romance movies. It was hard to keep from reflecting on death, as opposed to life, especially since we’d never really known the deceased; he’d had Alzheimer’s ever since we met them.
When his teenaged grandson delivered a eulogy, I looked down at Carolyn and couldn’t help whispering an apology for the day that I leave her forever. I hope that day doesn’t come for a long, long time, but it won’t be put off forever. I hope that when that day does come, she’ll be able to smile through the tears, warmed by memories of love and laughter.
As I looked back up, I recalled the recent Papal statement that it’s immoral to let die a person who’s in a vegetative state. We already know he opposes voluntary euthanasia, along with capital punishment and of course abortion. Basically, the Pope opposes any premature exit of this life, no matter if it’s an imposed exit or not. Which forces me to wonder: what does he know about death that the rest of us don’t? And why is he working so hard to make sure that people avoid it for as long as possible, even when they’ve become mental vegetables?
That same evening, my college friends Bruce and Laura, visiting from out of town, dropped by to see Carolyn and introduce us to their son Dennis, who was born just three days before Carolyn. They’re currently located in Boise, Idaho, which they find to be interesting despite the political climate. They were telling us about the “clean movie” video stores that are fairly popular in their area. These are places that take movies and edit out the “naughty bits” so you can watch a movie without having to see or hear anything that might offend you. (Unless of course unauthorized alterations of an artistic work offend you, in which case you’re pretty much out of luck.) We were wondering whether these places would carry The Passion of the Christ at all, and if so, how much of it would be left. Bruce said he’d guarantee that they’d carry it intact. While I was over at the Catholic World News site, I saw a banner ad for CleanFilms, and as it happens they list The Passion… as an upcoming movie. I’m almost tempted to sign up for the free trial service just to get their copy of the movie and see how long it ends up being.