"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness, She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, Let
it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, Let it be
And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be"
Now for a happier topic
Last June, my little boy was preparing for
his Baptism. He was 4 ½ months old, so
by preparing, I mean he was doing nothing.
Rob and I, on the other hand, were sorting RSVPs, filing papers with the
Church, meeting with the catering guy and in the 11th hour, we
ordered a tent from Westchester Tent Rentals in Elmsford based on the weather
predictions. We were hosting the Baptism
in our back yard, which seemed like a good idea at the time, and by ‘at the
time’, I mean to refer that you should never party plan while in a post-partum
state of delusions. We had almost 60
people coming to our small house and a 20 x 20 foot tent in the back yard. Food orders could always be increased but the
limited seating and general size of our property could not be increased
overnight. Needless to say, after the
Baptismal ceremony, it started to pour rain and all our guests huddled under
the tent or in the house. I was
overwhelmed but I said t myself, “Make the best of it”, and ran into the
basement, traded in my leather sandals for some Crocs, donned my raincoat, and
made it back to the backyard, to hand out plates and beers and toss dinner
rolls into the crowd. We had a great
Before the Baptism, I was hiding out in my
bedroom, not due to weather but rather due to the increasing amount of
boisterous guest who were invading my house.
While Rob, Nicky (Nick’s Godmother) and her fiance, Randy, were in Nick’s
room dressing him for Church, I hid in my bedroom doing makeup for myself and
Jenn’s 17 month-old Claire. Claire
looked fabulous. I looked ok. Nick looked like a mini Mafia baby. We bought him a little white suit, complete
with vest and clip-on tie, and he looked Gangsta’ head to toe. At Church, Nick was being Baptized along with
Finn Patrick (a baby whom I didn’t really know, but his parents went to birthing
class with us at Lawrence Hospital) and another little boy. Finn and the other little boy were wearing
proper Baptismal Gowns while we brought in the half-Bronx, half-Brooklyn Mafia
Don in his three-piece suit.
Lord Have Mercy.
Despite all this chaos, despite
overdressing an infant, and the untimely rainstorm, uncommon for early June in
the Seventh Borough, I was so excited for Nick’s Baptism. I was so excited for Nick to receive his
first sacrament, and a bit relieved I could stop quasi-baptizing him with the holy
water at the entrance to the Church, as I had been doing for a few weeks
One night, I lay in bed thinking about how
excited I was for Nick, even though, at 4 ½ months old, how much could he
really be taking in? This was not his
conscious decision, we decided he should be baptized, as we were, as infants,
we chose his Godparent, we chose Chicken Franchese over Veal Marsala. Yet it was Nick’s day.
It was then that I realized the true value of
the Sacraments. Whatever the occasion,
Baptism, Marriage, Last Rites, it was just a matter of presenting yourself as a
servant of God and just being yourself before God. Beyond the hoopla, beyond the three-piece suits or frou-frou
dresses, beyond the Chicken Franchese, it was just an opportunity to let it be.
This Sunday we are going to see my cousin’s
daughter, and one of the flower girls at our wedding, Elizabeth, receive her
first Holy Communion. I’m sure her dress
will be pretty and I know we get a choice of chicken, beef or fish, but all
Elizabeth has to do is let it be.
Two weeks ago we were part of Nicky (Nick’s
Godmother) and Randy’s wedding.
Technically it wasn’t a sacrament because Randy was raised in the Jewish
faith, but for all intents and purposes, I consider it a chance to just let it
be. Two people, before family, friends
and God, just let it be. Come as you
are. Even if the Ring Bearer is a bit
unruly (thanks, Nick) and even if all you can hear during the Prayer of the
Faithful is the Mr. Softy theme song flowing through the open doors of the
church on a warm Spring day, ice cream and wriggling toddlers, Catholics and
Jews, all together to just to let it be.
I admit, at some point during the homily, I
spaced out, and was distracted with fond memories of our wedding. The benefit of having a full mass is that the
Bride and Groom get a lot of down time while everyone else is doing the
talking, and our backs were to the congregation, all the more excuse for
daydreams. Nicky’s wedding was held at
St. Brendan’s, in the Bronx (Fourth Borough), where her parents were
married, where Rob’s parent’s were married, where both Nicky and Rob, cousins
and friends, made all their sacraments, and from where Rob’s parents were
But Rob made his Sacrament of Marriage at St.
Pat’s in Brooklyn (Second Borough), where I made all my Sacraments, as
did my brother, who walked me down the aisle that October afternoon, twenty-one
and one-half years after our father was buried from that same church, receiving
his last sacrament in 1989. I remember
the light coming through the west-facing stained-glass windows of the church during our
wedding. We were married at 3 PM in the
afternoon and I thought to myself, we’re never really in church at 3 PM in the
afternoon and isn’t the light coming through the west windows just fantastic! It was a light I was seeing for the first
time. All we had to do was to let it
How fortunate we are to celebrate family
events marked by sacraments, and parish continuity, followed by a choice of
chicken or beef or fish, and, of course, an open bar.
"And when the night is cloudy, There is still a light that shines on me, Shines until Tomorrow, Let it be"
Let it Be
Congratulations to Nicky & Randy, and Elizabeth!