Yesterday was a bad day for my mother, sister and me. The details are personal, but most of the time we fight like typical Italians do – fast, hard, loud, mean and with forgiveness quickly following. Yesterday for a multitude of reasons, I think we all saw how fragile even the strongest threads could get. I was miserable, I left work early, I had been crying all day and felt sick to my stomach worried that some of the things said just . . .couldn’t be forgiven.
Then where would I be? The idea of being untethered from my mom and sister was unbearable, we had been through so much together and we always loved each other through it, even if we didn’t agree with each other. The amount of love and support I received from them was unmeasurable, to be without that was unthinkable, there would always be a huge gaping hole in my heart. While for once the issue wasn’t about me per se, I could see things unraveling and while I tried to have the conversation reasonably, too much flew out of my mouth when I got heated and while I apologized to my sister and then things managed to escalate further, I was feeling cast adrift.
Jow and I went to the grocery store, one we didn’t usually go to. It had an impressive amount of candles to all sorts of saints and the big JC and Mary. I had privately thought I would have liked to have done all sorts of spellwork to remedy the situation in a way I found favorable but I knew I was mad and hurt and that this mess was so deep, I knew in my heart I wouldn’t even *know* what the right outcome was. The candles were on sale, only a $1.15 each, I grimly asked Jow if any of them could do :::lots of unnecessarily snarky suggestions::. While there was a Certain Saint who probably could, She and I don’t have a great reaction to each other and she doesn’t get along overly well with one of my patrons.
I stared at the candles dumbly and I thought about how I wasn’t Catholic anymore, my sister was lapsed, but my mom still was devout. Who would be interested in hearing my family problems after I had left the Church anyway? I couldn’t even manage a relationship with St. Expedite. Jow pointed out how Mary loves everyone and doesn’t seem to care much if you take up with pagan gods, She just wants your family life to be good. And I thought about how dysfunctional and difficult her family life must have been (“Sooooooo. . . .um, there was angel and not only did He have something to tell me but . . .”) and how faithful and calm She had always been. I thought about the GoG Crowning of Mary and how I still felt at home there. I thought about my mom and how she tried to emulate Mary in raising two hellion daughters as best as she could. I hesitated between Traditional Mary and Our Lady of Guadalupe. I liked the prayer on OLoG candle better and Jow pointed out that She is the Virgin Mary of the Americas. I also figured the current family drama was a lot of Standard Ethnic Drama so the “translation” wouldn’t be hard. I later learned that She’s associated with being somewhat of a riot girl and synchronization with other previous goddesses which is a good fit for me.
I got home and I said the prayer and lit the candle on our altar. We went about our business making dinner and a few hours later, my mom had spoken to my sister and my sister had texted me and my mom called me and in the typical dysfunctional round robin my family uses to solve problems, things were better. Sincere apologies were exchanged and laundry was aired. We’re on the same page with Mary burning brightly in the background of all of it and I feel whole again and I felt my heart open up to be more compassionate, to be kinder. I shyly told my mom that I had lit a novena candle to Mary and said a prayer to her and now things were better. She sounded happy when she said, prayer always works. I think she understands that she doesn’t understand how my faith works, but somewhere in there there’s still a piece she understands.
All of this for $1.15 at the grocery store reminds me sometimes all you need is your heart on your sleeve for magic to work.