Wednesday, 10 February 2016


The day before Thanksgiving, 2015, I received an email telling me that my baptismal sponsor, Jane, had unexpectedly died.  No!  Not Jane, hilarious, sarcastic Jane who had taken me under her wing the very hour I stepped into St. Andrew's, taught me how to be an Episcopalian, and pulled me towards the church community I became, for a time, deeply enfolded within.

Yes, dear, kind Jane and her crass, witty mouth.  Jane who made her own rules, stepped over them, around them.  Jane who never missed a Thursday Eucharist, and made sure I didn't either.  Who embraced her faith with all her heart, who cried when talking to me about the perfect love one can find only from God.  Tolerant, loving Jane who nodded her head to all the ways we live and hold faiths.  Endlessly giving Jane who still brought her ex husband a plate after Community Cafe each week.  Jane who went out of her way to make sure that anyone - anyone - who walked into the church hungry, or cold, did not walk out that way.

Jane who tried to drag us one by one to the Women's Club to help organize the piles of dusty old trinkets sold in the thrift store there; and who would buy all items of Christian relevance to distribute to her friends.  Like this wooden cross given to me by her on the day I was baptized with her by my side.

Jane who was 30 years my senior but as much a sisterfriend as a godmother.  Fixture of the church Jane.  Ever present Jane.  Jane whose endlessly annoying requests for Cookie Jam lives no longer ping on my Facebook.

I will never get to say goodbye to Jane.  I will never get to say thank you, although she knew how I loved her.  What will haunt me for all of my life is that I will never get to say I'm sorry.  I never stepped foot into my beloved St. Andrew's again after meeting a man I went on to date, a staunch atheist.  I easily slipped back into the secular world I have always been a part of.  Jane called.  She called many times.  She left messages and texted and tried to pull me back into the arms of St. Andrews.  Ashamed to have given up the church, yet ashamed to have found meaning there, torn between, I did not call her back.

I fiercely hope that you are resting in the place that you fervently believed you would find after this life.  How I loved you, dear Jane.

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