December 25th, 2017
Karin and I attended Midnight Mass at St. Rita. I stood in front of the congregation late last night to proclaim the Prayers of the Faithful. I made a mistake during one of the petitions. In the prayer, as written, we ask God, our Father-Forever, to “help your children” who are suffering on Christmas, especially those who are imprisoned. For whatever reason, I actually said “our children”. I guess I said it that way because I really was thinking about “our children”, at least about one child in particular. It was difficult to get through that prayer because it was all up close and personal. It hurt.
Yesterday afternoon Karin and I drove to the Kenosha County Jail. We went to visit our loved one. She was worried that we would not be able to come to her because it was Christmas Eve. I had called the jail earlier in the week and they told me that it didn’t matter that it was Christmas Eve. As far as they were concerned, it was just another Sunday afternoon. The drive to Kenosha was a little stressful. It had been snowing. The roads were slick and the drivers were stupid. We got there.
I had my ten minutes with our loved one. We talked shop. We talked about when she would get the results of her blood test (drug scan). We talked about her public defender. We talked about everything except Christmas. I refused to bring it up. It just seemed too painful for the loved one and for me. In a way it doesn’t matter what the jail does to celebrate Christmas with the inmates. Anything that the jail does is simply a reminder of what the inmates cannot do. It would seem best to just ignore the holiday. It would be easier to pretend that Christmas did not exist.
At the end of the prayer for those imprisoned, I asked God to let them “feel Your loving embrace”. Does our loved one feel that embrace? Do I feel it?