This character comes in two types. One is authentic and the other scary.
Authentic: My uncle sent a booklet to his favorite Jewish niece from
St. Ann’s Basilica along with a note saying that his prayers were offered on bricks dedicated to the Walsh and Durkin families. My sister mentioned me in her rosary group and stopped rolling her eyes for two whole weeks. Mom dedicated a mass to my healing, but didn’t make me attend.
Despite our different belief systems, their prayers and invocations represent love. Thankfully, we all believe in that.
Scary: She enjoys fire, brimstone and lectures about how tumors are God’s will and a blessing.
According to this church lady, setbacks allow us to appreciate suffering. Illness transforms victims into role models and disease reminds us that Hell is a real possibility. God has a plan and all.
I smile and nod because that always encourages crazy talk, and then I tell her that I’m pretty sure God thinks illness and disease sucks, just like the rest of us.
Think Positive Lady: Everything is going to be fine if I would simply add more blueberries to my yogurt in the morning before yoga and wash it down with nine cups of green tea. Plus a good colon cleansing couldn’t hurt.
Think Positive Lady
I love this smelly girl and her dreadlocks. Really I do, but if she encourages me to mumble, “I am healing, I am healed” one more time in the vitamin aisle of my favorite nutrition store, Granola Girl is getting a bottle of wheat germ upside the head.
The One-Upper: It doesn’t matter what I’ve got goin’ on ”“ this lady has me beat. She will see my hypothyroidism and raise me a goiter the size of
Delaware. And don’t get her started on her bunion.
Did I hear about her daughter? She had a bilateral mastectomy three years ago and just finished her final reconstruction surgery. Those new breasts look fabulous, even without nipples.
That’s right. I don’t know suffering. I’ll try not to scream later that night when my nightmares feature giant, naked Barbie dolls chasing me down the hall.