Mother “crossed” the line


My babies had their naming ceremony – now mind you, I don’t do baptisms. My husband is an atheist. I consider myself Christian but not practicing. I was raised in a Catholic house and my mother is still a staunch Catholic (and that is putting it lightly). So rather than a baptism, my husband and I agreed on a naming ceremony…and let me add that I had to fight for it. He really didn’t want anything that resembled baptism, initiation, dedication, or whatever you wanted to call it, he just didn’t want it. For me to get him to agree to the naming ceremony was monumental. But he finally agreed; I was happy, he was happy. It was going to be perfect.

3 days before the big day, my husband’s mother passes away after never completely recovering from a stroke. It was heartbreaking. Yet, we decide to have the naming ceremony still and have her memorial service the following week. Now we aren’t so happy but we still want to celebrate the birth of our two girls who are new to this world.

The big day arrives; family & friends come to our house to join us in the naming ceremony. The sun is out, the day is as perfect as it can be while we are missing one grandma.  My mother still came, along with my siblings, their spouses & my nieces & nephews (my husband’s brother & his wife were there as well). All in all, we think it was a success. Even my mother seemed happy with the ceremony, despite it not being in the Catholic way. (I reflect on that thought quite often, as she truly did seem happy, yet as the events progressed I question if it was all fake or if she was simply happy with herself for what she did and it really had nothing to do with the naming ceremony…but I am getting ahead of myself). We eat, we open gifts, we say our goodbyes and the day is done. All that is left is the clean up.

We each take a girl to put into bed before we start to clean. We walk into their room & look at each crib – WWWWHHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!? We are both standing, jaws dropped, shocked & not quite sure what to think or say. Above each crib is a cross nailed to the wall – and not just a colorful children’s cross, a cross with a body, the body of Jesus, nailed to the cross, it even had specs of blood on his hands & feet where the nails went in AND it is nailed to OUR wall – our girls wall – above their cribs!!  I know who did this. My husband knows who did this. Yet we are still speechless & shocked that she would really do this! Two crosses, nailed to OUR walls – did I say that already, as I find myself repeating it over and over and each time the shock doesn’t get any less. My mother in her flawless Catholic ways came into our house, with a hammer, with two nails, with two crosses, and nailed them to my wall, above my children’s beds WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. And it was pre-meditated. She knows my husband is an atheist. She knows I fought for this naming ceremony. Yet she still did this…it’s one of those stories you hear and think -Wow, that woman is nuts, glad I don’t know her – Ha, and its my mother! How on earth can you think you have the right to nail anything to the wall in someone elses house, but to nail a religious artifact?! I was furious. My husband was hurt –  and he was already dealing with his own mother’s death, now my mother has nailed a cross to the wall. INSANE, simply insane. She has crossed the line – pun intended. But is it worth my time to even explain to her how insulting and ludicrous her behavior is/was? I am at a loss.

Right now I need to plan my mother-in-laws memorial service and I truly don’t have the time or energy to deal with her. I will repeat. I am at a loss, a loss.

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