My mother was an unfaltering believer. She cringed when at 12 I dared to question the veracity of the Bible. I’m sure she privately wept when I converted to Judaism.
At some point after my marriage and my conversion, she managed to convey the fact that we wouldn’t be seeing each other in the afterlife and that was of great concern to her. I can’t remember if she came right out and said my conversion had damned me to eternal hell or what, but that seemed to be the gist of it.
I can’t personally conceive of buying into that sort of dogma, but her church and her faith were her life. I can’t remember how or if I responded to her beliefs about our afterlife. I’m sure I didn’t laugh. But did I express anger or pity or any emotion at all?
Recently seeing “A Bright New Boise” at the Woolly Mammoth has caused me to think about my parents’ beliefs and mine and how they intersected and mostly disconnected. I’m really glad I managed to escape the Deep South without a fundamentalist view to God and religion. I appreciate the compassion for humanity my mother passed down to me, but I much prefer my belief system (what littler there is of it) when it comes to religion.
Maybe in our next lives we will change roles. My mother will come back as a liberal Jew and I will find Jesus and pray for the Rapture. Who ever knows?