i've missed my pop a lot this week. i missed him last week as well, but this week felt especially crappy. maybe it's the rain, maybe it's talking to some of his old college buddies, maybe it's just how grief works. you get respite sometimes, just so you don't go nuts, but it doesn't go away, necessarily. just comes in waves. this morning i put on a bracelet he and my mom sent me while i was in alaska. i'm sure my mom picked it out; it's one of those wooden stretchy bracelets with the saints and mary pasted on the square wooden beads. campy and funny and right in line with my love of catholic tchotchkes. even though i know mom picked it out and put it in the mail, it came from both of them and when i got it i wore it i thought of them both. i understood then how lucky i was to have both my folks, and how lucky i was that they would love me even when i was being a pain in their collective asses. wearing the bracelet then, and now, reminds me of that. it has nothing to do with belief in god, because i don't have any.
of course, i know a lot of people actually think that the glow-in-the-dark mary in my car, my religious themed jewelry, and plethora of rosaries means i have faith. most of the people i know are protestant christian of some sort, and my being apparently catholic means they don't talk religion to me. a lot of people are surprised when i tell them i don't actually believe, that i don't have faith in god or saints or hell or heaven. some folks don't believe me. my atheism happened over time, and it wasn't until a little over two years ago i felt okay talking about it with anyone. it's not something i talk about often, for sure, because in some ways it feels like a non-issue. i still enjoy christian holidays, although i feel like they're just a good way to enjoy time with my friends and family and do some serious cooking/eating. at times, though, i wonder if i know any other atheists. D has faith of a sort (non-denominational), feels fairly sure there's a god and that god is okay with him. my co-worker M is a devout and serious seventh-day adventist. my mom is still catholic. i live and work and love people with faith, but just don't have it myself. when i wear my little saintly bracelet i wonder who i might know who is also an atheist. is it you? do you talk about it? were you once but now aren't? i'm curious.