I grew up in the United Church. I did not grow up religious. My mother used to clean the church. It was right across the street from us, so very handy. She was also the treasurer for many years. It took me a long time to understand how she knew I took the quarter out of my offering envelope and skipped out of Sunday School to buy candy.
When I was taking piano lessons I used the church piano for practice. It was rather exciting to be in the church when no one was there. I would often deviate from my practice and roam around the church, sit up in the choir benches or creep around the small rooms in the older part where I used to go as a small child.
I remember how hard she laughed when, watching a wedding from our front lawn my friend and I watched our cat enter the church. Turns out he walked straight up the aisle, bold as brass and right to the front of the church. That was a favourite of hers.
When I was about eight or so I had gone to church with my mom. My mom was not religious but she liked going to church. She could socialise and put on her nicer clothes. After the service one day she said, ‘That Mr. So-And-So, he sat there snacking his lips the entire time! It was so annoying!’
I said, why didn’t you do something? She would have if it were me.
My Mother’s eyebrows went up and there was mock shock all over her face. ‘What exactly was I supposed to do? Smack him in the puss?