I am very excited about it, because it just felt so right to be there. I felt even better about goihng than I normally would because Seanie came too - he hasn't been to church in years, and even then he only went regularly on holidays like Easter or Christmas. Of course, the whole reason he went today may bave been simply to get me off his back, but I'd like to hope that there was more motivation behind his actions than to merely 'shut the girlfriend up.'
What really surprised me was how pleased my Dad was that I came. During the 'Joys and Concerns' segment of the service he announced to the entire congregation how happy he was that I had "returned of my own free will." I very rarely seem to make my father genuinely pleased, so every little moment like that is truly special.
Little girls live for Daddy's approval, after all.
Instead of the usual sermon today there was a special children's presentation of the tale of Jonah and the Whale. The actors pantomined to the narration of Byron Henderson, who greatly updated the story to modern slang. (The same Mr. Henderson was Tevye in the church production of Fiddler on the Roof, which my brother also participated in.) It was absolutely ridiculous and quite enjoyable to watch the children; lacking the intensity of a full-blown sermon, it was a good way to 'ease' back into church life.
Stan Yumen was at church, of course; the flowers that decorated the alter today were in memory of his wife, Ethel. She passed away on March 9th in 2001 - I can't believe she's been gone for five years! As I looked at the flowers I felt my eyes tearing up, which really surprised me because I didn't cry at her memorial service. I was happy at the time, because she was no longer in pain, but was in heaven with Christ. I wonder what made tears fill the corners of my eyes this morning?
I think it was for Stan's steadfast devotion to Ethel; he is such a good man, and together they had such a warm, wonderful household.