Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. A day about preparation and refection.
I knew it when I got up. On my list of things to do for the day, was to check out the mass schedules at our local churches. I knew what chauffeuring I had to do after school and was in search of a 5:00 mass. That would fit perfectly. I figured there had to be one.
Right before I left school, I Googled St. Pius’s mass schedule. 5:30. I Googled St. Thomas’s mass schedule. 5:30. I double checked my church, Our Lady of Assumption. Also, 5:30. No way I could make that work. No worries.
I came home, cooked dinner (everyone cooks dinner at 4:00, right?), whipped up some muffins and headed out the door to get Megan to riding. Came home, finished dinner, fed Grace, fed the dog and looked at the clock. It was 5:10. Everything’s all set, I could stop by St. Pius on my way to pick up Megan, stop into church, if I get the ashes, I get em, if not, no worries.
So that’s what I did. As it turned out, it wasn’t a full mass. A full, packed church, but not a full mass, so I left at 6:00 with ashes. Everything had worked out. It always does.
About an hour and a half later, I was at a high school basketball game. Grace, and her team would be performing at half time. I showed up at 7:00, watched the first two quarters. Good game. I love the energy of a bunch of teenagers cheering on their team in an organized, unified way.
Half time came. The girls danced. I watched, I cheered. When they were done, I went down to give Grace a hug and say good bye. Grace was no where to be found. So I stood around talking and watching for Grace.
There was an older man seated in a chair near by. There was a pause in the half time chit chat and I turned my head to look for Grace. The man and I made eye contact and suddenly he reached for my arm and pulled me towards him. “Come here.” he said as he reached up for my forehead, pressed his thumb on my forehead and then transferred my ashes to his forehead. “There, that’s better.” he smiled at me. “I forgot to go to church. Now my wife is going to ask me where I went to get my ashes.” He was laughing at himself and I was laughing with him. “What’s your name?” I asked. He pulled me in again, “You’re not going to believe it, but my name is Hooker. Yup, Hooker.” “Well Hooker, you tell your wife you got your ashes from Dawn at a high school basketball game.”
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. It was about preparation, reflection, and sharing.