I needed this day to be different. So instead of hopping in the shower as I usually do on Sunday mornings, I pulled on my red robe--one of two robes which hang on the back of my bathroom door. Those two robes are rarely used but when they are, I feel comforted and relaxed. My red robe is a lightweight fleece. It’s perfectly worn in, with deep pockets and a simple wrap tie. My green robe is of the same design but is made of a heavier plush fleece, definitely one for a colder morning.
I avoided wearing one of my robes before today, maybe because wearing one commits me to moving a little slower in the morning when I need to keep busy, or perhaps because I knew that when I pulled one on, I'd be reminded of how Dad always borrowed my robes when he'd come to stay. I have pictures of him wearing both the red one and the green one. I have a picture of the two of us posing together in my robes. I love that he always felt comfortable reaching for one to wear in the morning when he visited. It is just one of many affirmations I have as to how he always loved being here at my home with my family.
But this morning I said, "No. I need this day to be different". I felt some shame in not jumping in the shower to take my boys to church. But there was a strong pulling inside of me that said this decision of mine today was understood and accepted. And as soon as I pulled on my robe and made my way down the steps to the kitchen, I knew I was where I was supposed to be today.
The sun came in through the panes of glass in the living room. I reached for my frying pan, started some scrambled eggs, then made my way to the living room, to the old stereo that my husband and I purchased 25 years ago with our wedding gift money. I tried to play a classical music cd, for I grew up listening to classical music playing in our house each Sunday morning, but our cd player is malfunctioning again so instead, I turned on the radio. My son came downstairs at 10:00am and asked, “We’re not going to church?” and I smiled with pride that he was asking about this break in our normal routine, and without giving him an explanation, I said simply, “No. Not today”. My husband cut squash for me to bake, then headed to the dump. I did some cleaning of the stove and some dishes, again thinking of how my Dad would always take over dish duty when he’d visit and how he’d leave my sink sparkling. Then I sat down to tackle some research paper correcting. Satisfied, I completed a set of grades and put the folder back into my school bag.
“I needed this day to be different”, I again found myself saying aloud. The Catholic girl in me was still in need of absolution for missing Sunday mass. I got the chicken going in the oven, took the baked squash out to scoop, and then sat down at my laptop. I entered in grades, took a moment to respond to a student’s email, chatted with each of my daughters, and again looked out the windows to the golden foliage that surrounds my warm home. I sat there, quietly. Just taking in the view. The dog came around a few times, perhaps a little confused with how I had stopped to pause for this amount of time. Here I was, still in my robe, and it was now after noon.
I needed this day to be different. Who knew it would take only a robe to come off a hook to make that happen? Well, truth be told, I knew.