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Thinking back to my First Communion, I’m pretty sure I was more interested in the frilly white dress than the concept of “The Body of Christ”.

wee catholic girl first communion

Catholic girl’s first communion

The Body of Christ concept kinda scared me. So did images of that pitiful, bleeding Jesus crucifix hanging near the altar of our church. Scared the bee-jeezuz outta me.

Fuzzy memories take me to the back room in our family home, that armoire at the bottom of the stairs. I admired the few pretty dresses that Mother hung in there. Now I’m sure the one I wore had already gone through my four older sisters.

Growing up Catholic also meant growing up poor.

Follow more Growing up Catholic recollections.

Then there was the Confirmation during my awkward early teens. I remember dragging my feet to get ready. I recall one of my older sisters wrestling me into the tub to wash up. I remember wearing the light blue skirt that Mother made for me, along with some frugal blouse. I remember one of the smart-ass boys making fun of it. The concept of being poor really sunk in when I discovered my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a suitable dress for the occasion.

Going through photo albums, I have admired wedding photos of a couple of sisters, of my Mother wearing the pretty, white dress. Ah, the virginal, white dress for wedded bliss.

When I eventually married, I did not qualify to wear a white dress. I also needed something loose to fit over my growing belly. I was five months pregnant.

The hesitant bride wore a long dark blue batik gown. It brought out her eyes. 

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