5:11 PM | 12-16-07
Since the time I was about 5 years old I was attending Sunday School and following that was church. My father sitting with his mother in the back of the church as to not drawing any attention, and my mother and myself in the front of the church. I remember falling asleep on her shoulder countless times, awakening for songs, and dozing off again. I never understood what it all meant. All those words, and testaments. So many readings, and an hour long! To a 5 year old that was a day....a minute too long..a hyme too much. When you were young, only tthese few things were important in church, one, to me, was I always always had to be on my best behavior, why? because my great great grandfather was the pastor, and my family had been attending this church for as long as anyone could remember, Two, I was anticipating my confirmation which was at 12, Three, I could then start lighting the candels!!! This was a HUGE deal, getting dressed in the white and black robe and lighting the candels infront of everyone before church. All eyes were on you. So basically, you got to drink wine, and play with fire. You were cool in church by the time you were 12. Anyway, with all these things going on and the anticipating moments that would come, the biggest part of the year was the Christmas Program. Every year, on the Eve of Christmas all the children in all the Sunday school classes would come together with a theme, we*d sing the same songs in usually the same order and we would all have to memorize one part. As the HAM I always was, i would always pick the biggest part to memorize, never to think what i would be in for. But, year after year, i would pick the biggest oart with the most words, words i most likly didnt even know. And year after year on Christmas Eve, my mom and I would gatehr at my dad's house and I was allowed to open ONE gift. And every year it was from my grandmother, and every year it was a brand new frilly gorgeous festive Christmas dress, complete with matching accessories. My mom would always buy the shoes every year, always black, and about a week before, enough time for me to lose them. So, almost every year I would be in tears moments before the program because I had lost my new black shoes. Luckily, my feet never grew that fast so last years would always work. Anyway, all the children would gather, the room would be silent in the basement while kids would go over their parts in hopes of not forgetting them. It was always a blunder for me....as if i didnt have enough to worry about! Shoes I mean....! But sure enough year, after year we all came thru, including me. We would all come in with the lights dimmed behind the pastor, and all would be singing Joy To The World. Older kids always got to be in the front. I remember counting down the years before I could be in front. Year after year, we would get infront of the entire congregation and song our hearts out, go up to the microphone and recite our passages from the bible. I remember how proud my mom and dad were, espechially my grandma. I'm sure her seeing my dress helped too. It was always such a gerat time. So many memories. I remember Jason Elenich always got to open all his christmas presents on christmas Eve so he always knew what Santa had gotten him, i was jealous. I always had to wait till the next morning, and as time goes as a young niave child it would be forever til morning! I remember it was my first day to be an acolight...the one who lights the candels. It was my first time, and the first time they decided to have new candels, for a 4 ft something young girl they were towering, and it took me what felt like a half an hour to light them, and finalyl someone had to come help me. Later, I nearly fainted in the middle of the service, a few gasps, and cool drink of water i was off and running again. Teh thing is, now, this church that I always thought I would be married in, is closing in the spring. Our church has collected over 3 million dollars to build a new one. So, today, not being Christmas Eve, was the last Christmas service on my church. Things are different now, the elders rememebr everything about me. right down to the frilly dresses and my huge smile. The kids, no longer memorize their passages, they dont know ANY of the songs by heart such as Away in the Manger, the lights are not dimmed, the theme is no more. Its changed. All the kids hold the programs up to their faces, some sing, some dont, some run off to sit with their parents, it's a half hour long. It's now at 4PM, not 7PM where the candels would glow in the night and dimmed lights. No more candels, no more night. I cherish my moments and memories at my church because of of the moments I had. The resposibility, the loyalty, the love, and everything that came with it. Kids dress differently now, they run all over the place without a care in the world, it has become a different place all together. So today, was my last attendance. I watched fromt he front pew, watching kids fumble with their programs, one girl stuck her tounge out for about a minute giggling, and the rest just fluttered around. Different....not as i saw it. But i am glad I was there. A full circle, yet again in my life.