Sundays are beginning to be some sort of concern for me. I do not just love going to mass, but for me, mass, especially on Sundays is obligatory. I used to go for daily masses religiously, but as Ziim is getting older and since we live by ourselves, leaving her alone to go for early morning masses is not something I like to do any more. Yes I used to do that, I used to dash out as soon as communion is over, and most times I met her still sleeping. But I worried; what if she had a seizure or something, anyway, my conscience got better of me, I stopped. I tried the mid day mass at Gbaja, it is less than five minutes drive from me on a good day but traffic could make it over thirty minutes journey, I had to be back at the center for the children’s lunch. Hm.. what to do? We tried the evening mass at same place, but had to stop that too because most times the mass was long, guess the priest is like; nobody is in a hurry to go to work, such that before the mass is over about 7.30p.m Ziim is tired and restless and begins to cause distractions by screaming as if she is not enough distraction without the screams. Sometimes before we got home with the evening traffic, she is thoroughly tired and hungry not to say irritable. After a while I stopped that too and only do the Sunday masses, I try and read my missal daily along with my morning prayers when I can. Now this Sunday mass is threatening to go into extinction too and I really feel sad!!!
What seems to be the problem, you are wondering. The problem is where to worship.
I do not remember how I started worshiping in St. Dominic’s, but I have been worshiping there for so long that I am not quite sure I remember how long. I like worshiping there, I like the Dominican spirituality should I add that they preach the sermon well too. I guess that will not be necessary, are they not the Order of Preachers?
When I was told that Ziim was blind at seven months, after I cried my heart out, I did what a sensible person should do; picked myself up and remembered that blind people exit and function well, I found Paccelli School for the blind. I decided to start associating with them early in Ziim’s life so that we can learn how to see with our hearts. But my worry was that Ziim did not, (still does not yet) have use of her hands, so how will she read with her hands. Anyway, I found them and we started going for Sunday masses there. Back then, it was a smaller community in their small chapel. The children sang beautifully and I watched them see with their hands and move about the compound with little or assistance, they were simply inspirational. Gradually the community grew, getting packing space and seating in the chapel became difficult, I went back to my St Dominic’s but once in a while we go there, call it keeping in touch with the past. And remember that Ziim now sees so we do not need to read with our hands, but we still get inspiration from the children. We met some lovely people there, particularly mummy O and mummy A. Though going there now is becoming increasingly difficult. They have moved to their new chapel and it is on the second floor, imagine
carrying logging Ziim to the second floor on my shoulders!! I still do it but I am beginning to feel the weight not to talk of looking foolish, hm… must she come here hiss hiss.
Going to mass on Sundays in St. Dominic’s could be quite challenging in terms of traffic. To avoid all that wahala, I long decided to attend the first mass which is at 6a.m, so I only worry about the traffic at the end of mass. When Ziim was younger and less heavy, I was not particular about where I packed. But as she gets older and heavier, I am now particular, I will want to park closer to the church so that I can more easily get her out of the car and into the church. Sometimes I am able to get a good space, other times I am not. But that here is not the source of concern. The worry now is getting into the church and getting a seat. Since she started using the push chair, I “explored” the church and “discovered” the most suitable places for us to sit without calling for undue attention. I make conscious effort to “secure” any one of those positions even if it entails my leaving home about 5.20am. Most times I “clinch” it but other times I do not thus I may plead with the person that got the position to relinquish it to me. On goods days the person agrees effortless, on not so good days, you may need the intersession of people around to persuade h/her to move. On bad days you may have to fight to get it, on very bad days, fight, still you no go get am.
Such was it this Sunday, we came early, got a good parking space actually, but before we got in these our valued spaces had gone!. I braced myself, walked up to a lady sitting on the aisle seat; could you please shift inside so I can sit at the end to enable put my daughter’s push by my side?. Ha, madam please, I cannot go inside. Why now, but there is room, just shift a bit. Abeg, go find somewhere else o or make you go inside. I would want to go in but how do I take this chair inside? That one no bi my business, I no dey move. Hm.. this obviously is not a good day. I try again, no luck!! The man behind offered his chair to the lady, intersession, the lady still did not agree. Madam go sit there now. But if I do sit there my daughter’s chair will be on the way for people going to communion or offertory. I remember sitting there once and the church warden wouldn’t let me be until the end of the mass. If I sat there, to be sure the push there is out of the way, I will have to put it in front of me, that means sitting behind Ziim, meaning I will keep standing to adjust her head, hm.. what to do? I knew that the way the woman was going even if I fight I most likely will not get the space, so I chose not to. The choir starts the entrance hymn meaning mass is about to start. I let the man behind offer me his seat, I put Ziim’s chair in front, as the mass was going on, I kept standing to adjust her. Half way through, she turned to me, madam you fit come sit here. Hm…you want to know what I did? I know but just forget what I did.
All through the mass I was unhappy, not at the woman, but at the people who fail to know that we exist. Must I go to St. Dominic’s I heard you say. Of course not, St Anthony’s is an option, that too has it challenges. Recently I was told about an outstation of Our Lady of Fatima, we went there but the structure told us clearly not to make a repeat. The church I think due to lack of space is modeled after St. Anthony’s, its elevated so you need to climb stairs to get into the church!!! Could this be why I do not see any child like Zimuzo in the churches or is it that we were away the day they were all healed?
Helloo!! Is anybody listening?? Which church shall we go to on Sunday?