A couple of weeks ago, I went to a funeral for a nun.
Jude's dear, sweet, beloved second grade assistant teacher, Sister Lydia, had unexpectedly passed away. His whole little Catholic school has been very deeply saddened by this loss. Sister Lydia was the epitome of what a kindly nun should have been. I don't believe I ever saw the woman without a smile. The children all adored her, and she was a constant source of hugs and comfort. And fun too, she had a terrific sense of humor.
So the turnout for the funeral mass was big - the church was packed. And because she was a nun, the first few pews on each side of the church were reserved for the nuns from her order. There must have been 50 nuns there, all sitting right in front of me. And I found myself watching them for the entire service and during the reception afterwards
Now I realize that most of you non-Catholics picture nuns in old-fashioned habits a la The Sound of Music...
And that's pretty much how they all dress. Modest, clean, simple, functional. Sensible shoes. And one thing that we all noticed, and an unusually large number of people at the funeral commented on this to me, is that they all seemed to have the same short, functional haircut. It varies slightly from nun to nun, depending on their hair texture and color, but it's all about the same. My theory is that there must be one nun at the convent who is the hairdresser and has a chair in her room, you know, like the beauty salon in a women's prison, and they all just go to her and she just gives them the "nun cut".
But the main thing that I noticed about this group of religious women was that they all seemed amazingly happy. Even though it was a funeral, they all were filled with smiles and joy and love. It was really kind of mind-blowing. These women seemed to be living an incredibly happy life. I looked around at the other women in the church, many of whom I knew to have extremely privileged lives, and extremely happy marriages, and I have to say, they just didn't seem to be as happy and joyous as those nuns.
What exactly accounts for this joy and happiness? Certainly, the whole married to Jesus thing is a huge part of it. But I can't help but look at the other aspects.
No worries about money. No concern about what your future looks like, you will always be taken care of. No fretting about your looks - who cares if you have forehead wrinkles, or gray hair or belly fat? You'd get to wear comfortable shoes all the time.
A nun's life seems so simple. And specific. And gratifying. Especially this particular order of nuns, who are all teachers and dedicate their lives to caring for other people's children.
And I can't help but think that Jesus must be a really good husband. Certainly, he doesn't snore, or leave the seat up or the cap off the toothpaste. Which is probably a little cavalier, but true. And the whole sisterhood aspect is so appealing - these women really seemed to love and take care of each other.
So I'm thinking...if Jimmy were to die? I could do it. I could become a nun. It's not a bad life. I bet they've got healthcare. And a good choir that I could join. I'm sure I could be a useful part of the community.
Granted, I would have to forgo my usual inappropriate cleavage. And it would be extremely difficult to keep myself from using a little product in my "nun cut". And they might frown upon my excessive Netflix binging.
But I think I would like it. Very relaxing. Super gratifying work. And I bet those nuns are pretty fun when you give them a couple of highballs.
So what do y'all think? How do you think Jude would like having a mom who's a nun? He wouldn't have to worry about putting me in a nice nursing home, those nuns are set for life. Anybody else in?