My priorities got shifted somewhere between lethargy and despondency.
I can't pinpoint a specific date or occasion, the only thing I know is church took a back seat to so many other things - Charles Osgood and Bill Geist, extra moments under the down comforter, personal commitments.
My calendar got filled up with weekends away and late nights out and lazy mornings in - and before I knew it I was less of a practicing Catholic and more of a perfect lummox.
Disappointment and frustration fueled my disenchantment with the only religious tradition I'd come to known. My faith remained true over these past few months but I relied more on a very Depeche Mode kind of religion - a personal communion with God that happened on walks, behind the wheel and during other far more pedestrian moments of my life.
Last week brought on a roller coaster of emotion - my niece's heart surgery and my accepting a new career in an unfamiliar profession - and I felt myself pulled toward the familiar pomp and circumstance of my spiritual past.
Some unexpected variables led me to observe the Easter holiday alone. I laid in bed as long as I could Sunday morning and then felt disappointed that I hadn't gotten my ass out in time to get to St. Mary's in Hyde Park - for Maevey's sake alone I should have had no trouble going to church.
Too late to make it to my own church's mass, I googled Cincinnati's churches and found a 12:30 pm mass downtown. I didn't know what to expect at St. Louis Church - and was pleased to find a humble crowd of faithful gathered for communion. I didn't think I would be ready for my first foray back into the church scene amidst a cast of thousands and was glad to see a small chapel full of people from the neighborhood.
I sat in a pew next to an older, bohemian woman and focused less on my needs and more on those belonging to the tiniest girl I know. I asked for God's grace and forgiveness - perhaps feeling far more prodigal son than required, grateful I didn't explode into a ball of fire when I crossed the church's threshold.
The time beneath the crucifix reminded me of the one constant I've had while away from the church - I have remained grateful of all the many gifts bestowed on me and cannot begin to express the thanks I feel for the blessings of my life.
I don't know what the future holds for me - or even the weekend for that matter.
But I'm going to do my best to make it to mass again.