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©Copyright 2009-2010 Out Of The Blue.
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By MICHELLE McALLISTER   
Published: August 12, 2010
Goodnight Stella
I don’t even remember where I learned the rule to not start out a paragraph with the word “I,” but I am
breaking the rules tonight. I am a rebel.

I am a flawed human being. I try to do right, but sometimes what I think is right may not jibe with
society’s rules of right. I don’t think of myself as an overtly religious person. I admit it, I don’t attend
church. Matter of fact, the last time I think I set foot in a church was for my Grandma Deany’s funeral.
It was a Rite of Christian Burial. The whole nine yards, if you will, for a Catholic who has passed on.
I don’t know if it was the heat of the  moment or the fact that Grandma Deany would turn flips in her
grave knowing I had attended a Funeral Mass without confession, but whatever it was, I sought out
Father Black and begged him for absolution so that I wouldn’t be a sinner at her funeral.

After all of that, I’m still not certain what I believe. But I know that tonight when my other grandma
passed away and no arrangements were made for a man of God to speak at her funeral, it didn’t seem
right to me. Maybe it was conditioning on my part; I’m sure others would say it was the work of the
Lord, and others may say it was just tradition calling to me. But, in the last hours, after all other
arrangements were made, I still felt something was missing. And it was then that people I barely knew,
answered the call.

I will admit, I don’t know what my Grandma French’s wishes were for that last moment before we put
her in the ground. Maybe if it weren’t such a taboo subject, I would have asked. But nobody really wants
to start a conversation with: “So, what do you want to happen when you die?” I can only assume since
she had a preacher give a few words at her husband’s funeral, that she would have wanted the same.
So, I went against my father’s wishes and contacted someone to do that tonight, after all the other
arrangements had been made.

For the second time in my life, I’m left with guessing at what my grandma wanted. You would have
thought I would have learned from the lessons from the first grandma passing, but obviously I did not.
Can I chalk it up to being human and that it is certain that humans fail? If I followed the Catholic faith
more, possibly I could see a priest and be forgiven of all my sins, and able to start anew.

But neither seems completely right. After years in Catholic faith, I learned about a place between
Heaven and Hell, where the people who weren’t entirely deserving to go to either, spent their time until it
was decided otherwise.

When I was younger, this place called Purgatory seemed scary. As I get older, it just seems like
another name for Earth.

I hope, Grandma French, that I have done what you wanted. I tried, and I hope that for once, I did not fail.
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