Yesterday (December 30) was the sixth anniversary of my father's death. It completely slipped my mind until this afternoon, when I saw a funeral procession and the date came rushing back. I feel like a terrible son, that I couldn't even remember my own dad dying.
I try to remember my dad in my prayers for the dead, and try to light a candle for him on the anniversary of his death. I'd like to think that his soul is in purgatory, and one day I may see him again in heaven. However, I don't think that going to happen. He was raised in the Catholic Church, but left the faith at some point. He became a Presbyterian, and was even a deacon at the local church. He was also a 32nd degree Mason, and has the Masonic Rites at his funeral. While he wasn't overtly anti-Catholic, I don't think he had much love for the Church or the sacraments. The truth is that he died in a state of mortal sin, never received last rites, and his soul is very probably suffering eternal torment in hell. That's not the way I want to remember him, so I pray anyway.
Today (December 31) would have been my 11th wedding anniversary. Instead of celebrating my marriage and snuggling up with my wife, I helped my ex-wife pack her belongings in preparation for her moving to her apartment, go out to dinner together and listen to her talk about how much she misses her boyfriend, and in what I know was not intended to be mean-spirited in any way, listen to her observe that I probably don't have the capacity to give of myself in a Catholic marriage.
Maybe she's right. Maybe I don't have the emotional maturity or spiritual ability to be the sort of husband a wife should expect. I know that I pretty much made every possible mistake in our marriage, and I really don't want to rehash them here. I do know that as a whole, I was happier with her than without her, and that when she moves out, I will be terribly lonely.
I also know that she is happier without me, and I don't resent her or hate her or J for their happiness together. I am envious as all hell, because I see what a good boyfriend/potential husband should be, know that I missed that mark by a mile, and wonder if it would have made a difference in the end.
How much of that is my indulging my own insecurities? How much is that lingering love and marital familiarity that is in its final death throes? How much is the slow realization that I very probably will never be married again, or even feel the warmth of a woman's touch again? Only God knows, and I suspect (or at least have been trying to tell myself) that He has something else in store for me. I think He is trying to teach me patience and acceptance, but He sure makes the lessons difficult.
Happy New Year, everyone. At least that's one anniversary I won't forget (although I'll probably sleep through it).