March 2015 Posts

Chapter 10: The Jesuit, My Mother, and Me

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So, here I am! The beautiful mother of three, soon to be divorced from the man my mother

Mother

Mother

dreamed of marrying, when the phone rings, and, it is her.

“Marjorie”, she says, and I always know when she calls me Marjorie to pay attention. At all other times she calls me “Midge”, the nickname she gave me. She goes on, “I was at a Bar Mitzvah last night and met a delightful man who lives in your town. I gave him your address and asked him to stop in. You don’t mind do you? ”

“Will he call first? I ask, even as I am wondering what this is all about. She is furious I have separated from my husband , a man she says most other women would kill for, and now she is fixing me up?

“I don’t really know,” she replies, but, don’t worry, he is a very nice man.”

It doesn’t make sense but I don’t ask any questions. No sense stoking that furnace. Still, I am curious.

Me, relaxing at my pool

Me, relaxing at my pool

The following weekend the children off with their Dad. I am relaxing at the pool, wearing a bikini, my top off so to tan without lines. A chilled glass of white wine and my cigarettes sit on the table next to me. I have been reading, but close my book, feeling myself drifting off for a nap. At that moment I hear the door bell-Ding dong dang ding- but decide not to answer it. I am not expecting anyone.

Whoever it is, is persistent. At the third ding dong dang I yell over the rooftop I am coming. I tie my top up, race through the glass sliding doors to the front door, peer through the side window, and see a stranger.

Yes, I say, may I help you.?

He smiles, introducing himself as Patrick Kelly, saying he met my mother the other night. She assured him I would not mind if he stopped by. He hopes he hasn’t intruded.

Patrick is tall, dark, and not at all bad looking. He is wearing a short sleeve shirt, khaki pants, andimages-3 holding a brown paper bag in the shape of a wine bottle. Something is off and then it hits me. He is wearing a clerical collar! I can hardly stifle the laughter threatening to overwhelm whatever dignity I am trying to maintain in this situation.

Feeling naked, and I almost am, I open the door and invite him, almost unable to stop myself from saying, “Oh My God, my Jewish mother sent me a Priest!”

We share the bottle of wine and talk. His tells me his mission is not to talk sense into me, rather to ask how I am doing. He says my Mother is really worried. I assure him I am fine. He tells me he is a Jesuit and an academic. He is looking forward to his new post teaching at a Jesuit college in the fall. When he leaves he gives me his card telling me to call him anytime I might need to talk.

I never do, but I am charmed.

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