Well, now I can add being stood-up for a date by a dog to my relationship resumé…ha ha. But yeh, my buddy, Harry, couldn’t make it to Christmas Eve service last night, so I was on my own, so to speak.
I sat with my homeless pal Mike in the front row…great view & I didn’t have to look at all the couples & families sitting behind me in all their togethery glory.
And it was okay…okay as in good-okay. The music was great & I got to greet & hug old friends. Every year my favorite priest says “Merry Christmas” to her familiar peeps when she gives out the communion bread & she didn’t let me down this year either.
I guess the sermon was good because the lady sitting next to me was crying a little — I was kind of distracted & can’t remember a word she said. (Ghosts of Christmas Past….) A cute little girl got to carry the Baby Jesus statue up to the creche & she was simply pleased as punch…which can be a little catching. Kinda….
People who hadn’t seen me for awhile said they loved my hair & who can be a Grinch about that? My favorite 80-year-old got to be an “Altar Boy” (chalice bearer) for the first time at a Christmas Eve service (he does it regularly on Sundays) & that made me happy. And one of the guys in the choir did some solo singing along with two women (“Diana Ross & the Supremes” he called it) & I was in awe of his amazing voice.
The service lasted for an hour & a half & when it was over, it was over. No coffee, hardly any treats…most everyone headed out the door faster than Ruldolph on a special run to LAX. I guess all the couples & families had couply-family things to do.
So I hugged the stragglers & said good night to the cool priest, then walked home in the cool darkness.
As I was walking, a couple of homeless guys rode by on their bikes & one of them called out, “Merry Christmas!” & I called out the same & he seemed pleased about that. In a way that was the highlight of my evening…it was so real & god was definately there in that moment.
And so home to my gorgeous cats who in their own wise ways know that being coupled or family’d on Christmas Eve is not a big deal — god’s the deal — they were just ready for a good old-fashioned snuggly cat pile with me.
And so it goes. I woke up this morning (Baruch Atah Adonai….), Christmas Day, with 3 furry faces looking at me & I wished them Merry Christmas. We all had a low-key day together. A friend of mine who is in prison calls me on all major holidays & so we had our 15 minutes this afternoon. And as an extra-special gift, god blessed Sacramento with rain today.
All is well & who knows, maybe Harry will be available on New Year’s Eve.
Dolly Parton, “Hard Candy Christmas”
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