News came of the death of my former mother-in-law. She was in her 90s but in relatively good health with sound mind. I loved her but didn’t see her very much; phone chats on holidays for the most part. She was a neat lady who had survived breast cancer many years ago, vigorously active in her community and loving of her home in the suburbs of an East Coast city. She was an avid reader; enjoyed her large extended family that included me though I didn’t visit very much.
I always felt uncomfortable as I was responsible for the loss of her son in some manner. Though she never verbalized those feelings to me, they were clearly there;unable to hide them from an empath such as myself. These were the feelings that kept me away from family gatherings as though I was never family. I was a different race; not accepted as a family member though I believe they liked that I was a surgeon/scientist. In reality, I didn’t have much in common with his family after I wasn’t a wife anymore.
I will fly to the funeral services next week. I would dishonor her memory by not attending the services, though my feelings are equivocal. I will attend in black cassock with my simple gold cross for my protection. Who would attack a woman of the cloth?
My vestments are my uniform in religious services. If the funeral was in a funeral home, I would wear simple dress but in a church, I wear my cassock; comfortable at last; protected. Perhaps in this role, perhaps I might be acceptable in spite of my brown skin.