@Mrs_Amanda: I’m actually glad someone brought this up….because for someone like me, to end up with someone like Mr. 99…well, it was just what the doctor ordered.
I was raised by people who placed a lot of importance and attention on intelligence, integrity and independence….so, my childhood was a far cry from what other kids were living, but it was a wonderful way to grow up.
We had our daily routine, bedtime was a personal choice however if I wanted to stay up that didn’t mean everyone else did too and I would have to respect that….reading was more important than eating, art was life and the exchange of ideas was paramount to our family experience….we celebrated Christmas and Easter, but when I was younger, it was more to placate the religious members of my family, as they left this Earth, those days became less about the religious aspect they symbolized and morphed into something we created from simply gathering together.
I was not exposed to church as a child and I wonder if that wasn’t by design….it wasn’t until I was much older that I found myself in situations where I was in a church, of any denomination….and while I certainly do not mind or find it uncomfortable…I marvel at the idosycricies they practice.
Mr. 99 was raised Catholic, however totally rejected the religion and was looked down upon by his family for that choice….he would attend the holiday mass and things like that, but truly hated all of it and felt like a liar for even going.
Once he met me, it was like he had permission to stop doing those things….his father confronted me about it once, asking why I was turning his son away from God and I simply told him, “I don’t think what your son is looking for can be found in buildings of brick and stone….call it whatever you like, we seek the same thing however your son and I walk a different path.”
He was terribly angry and we don’t see much of them anymore….I really admire and appreciate the good intentions behind a church community, but am often disappointed at the miasma of personal agendas, politics and general unpleasantness that detract from the ideal as a whole….turning the whole experience into something completely opposing the ideals they represent.