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My Blog

First Communion and the Mumps

Good morning to all.  Another weekend is upon us.  I am looking forward to the day.  The sun is shining outdoors...I am just a little nervous to step out for fear that the sun is deceiving me and it is probable quite cold out there.  I have to sit down and do some sketching today, but there are also seashells sitting on my table that are half painted santas and are calling out to me to come and finish them.   What to do, what to do?  There are so many choices.  I am hoping that I can take some of the plants out for some sun today.  My kitchen counter is loaded with seedlings. 
As for todays blog, I have decided to go back in time to when I made my communion.  It was quite the confusing day for me.  You see, I had awoken with the mumps the morning I was to make my first holy communion. 
Now thinking about diseases in current day, you don't hear of the mumps anymore, where when I was 7 it was just one of those diseases you just got.  The question was usually not whether you would get them, but when. 
Well, I was the special one!  On one of the most important days in my life.  I mean, if you are not Catholic, you may not grasp the importance of this day.  But to a little girl, wearing that special white dress and white veil that made you look just like a miniature bride, was quite a BIG deal.  I can remember the days and the hours it took to find just the right dress.  My dress was all layered in lace ruffles.  There was a crown of flowers with a veil attached.  White party hose...now that was really a big deal and white patent leather shoes.  I received a special crystal rosary along with a prayer book, handkerchief and white gloves.  I was to be a vision in white!   
On the morning of my communion, I awoke with the mumps.  There I was, all puffed up like a chipmunk.  I couldn't imagine that all the rehearsals, procession practices and studies would have been wasted.  I couldn't imagine that I would make my communion with every one else.  But to my surprise, my mother had me get dressed and took me to church.  I joined all the other children and marched down the aisle of St. Stanislaus B & M's long church aisle in a picture of white.  Thinking back now...I can't quite understand why my mom allowed me to be with all those people.  I am not sure that I would have done the same should I have been the mom.  I remember going to Edward Fox studio's after the communion for my Communion Portraits.   They are quite the portraits... I looked like a little chipmunk. Then home for the party.  Now, once I returned home, I was not allowed to leave the house...because I had the mumps!  Quite the confusing concept for a seven year old.  Everyone in our family came over.  All my Aunts and cousins.  Family friends as well.  I sat on laps of Aunts and took lots of pictures with everyone there...but I wasn't allowed outside the house.  I stared out the window as my friends from the neighborhood, who also made their communion with me, paraded up and down the streets showing off their communion clothes.  There I sat, in my gorgeous white dress and would never get to wear it again.  I mean...who wears their communion dress after the fact.  It is the same with a bridal gown.  You just don't wear it again after the day.  I was very saddened by that.  I guess that is why it was hard for me to ever get rid of the dress.  In fact, it is still hanging in my closet.  Yes, I still have the dress.  In fact, I still have both of my daughters communion dresses still hanged next to mine.  I  can't seem to bear to let go of them.  I remember the day that my girls made their first communions and how special of a day that was!  They looked so pure and innocent and I was so proud to have the opportunity to see them on that alter.  In fact, by the time my girls made their communion, things had changed and the parents went  up to the alter to stand behind  to watch.  It was really a very special time.  I suppose that it might be time to give up the dresses.  Perhaps I will cut up some piece and make something special from the lace of my dress.  It is certainly silly to hang on to it....I am certainly not going to wear it!  But, oh the memories of that day.  I did get to wear it once more after the communion and it was for the May crowning.  Funny how that blog yesterday stirred up so many memories. 

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