Here's another old pic from last winter.
I like to tell the story of the cross, because in different phases of my life I have been a Jehovah's Witness, an agnostic and an athiest and none of those required a cross.
Bill's entire family is Catholic, but it was when he went to live with his grandmother that he began to practice it daily. He became an alter boy, said his thanks at the start of every meal, and asked for forgiveness each week. As he got older he got wilder and eventually stopped going to services, but Catholicism remained at the core of his beliefs.
My mother introduced us kids to the Witnesses when we were little. My dad had been running around partying and leaving her at home, making her vulnerable to isolation and depression. I even have a vague impression of the day they knocked on the door and she invited them in. They must have given her some hope, because it wasn't long before we were attending bible studies and going to the Kingdom Hall on Sundays. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ was killed, but they believe he was nailed to a huge stake, with his arms above his head.
When I was fifteen I refused to attend anymore services.
I must have been atheist for awhile, at least until after Jamie was born. After that I took on a bit of spirituality, becoming more open-minded about different beliefs. To this day I believe that most of the bible and the ten commandments were written by men in organized religion, for the purpose of keeping parishoners in line. That doesn't mean I don't believe in the principles behind them, like having respect for other people and helping them when you can. And, when I say that I will pray for someone, I really mean it. I send those good thoughts and hopes out into the universe, hoping something good comes from it.
Anyway, when Bill moved in it was important to him that his home have a cross, and this one in the picture was a gift to Emily from her grandmother. The first time Jamie saw it she exclaimed, what the hell?!! We used to tease the shit out of her, saying that she should be careful it didn't fall on her head. Since she's such an evil child, we thought for sure that every time she came up the stairs and passed the cross, it would start to shudder violently, lol.
I think we're all used to it now. I don't associate it with religion - it's something sentimental to soothe Bill's mind and to honour his past and his family. I like it.