This I Believe

Michele - Yorktown, Virginia
Entered on April 16, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I Believe in Mashed Potatoes and Chicken

Growing up in a home where we attended church every Sunday, faith in Jesus Christ came easily to me. However I did not realize until much later in my life that I had to seek faith on my own. Every Sunday my father, mother, two sisters and I would pile into our 1963 red Rambler station wagon and go to church. The church service held no meaning to me; I attended only because I had to.

After church my mother prepared her famous broasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. My mother meticulously cut up the whole chicken creating perfectly formed pieces of chicken, a trick I never learned. When I tried to cut up a whole chicken the pieces looked like something out of a horror movie and no one dared to eat them. Another skill I did not pick up from her was the way she mashed potatoes, they were creamier than fresh whipped butter and she accomplished that feat without use of her electric mixer. As I came into my teen years I began to question the traditions and my family’s beliefs.

I realized that the faith I grew up with was not my own, but that of my parents. The term “Faith of our Fathers” became all too real for me and I wanted to explore my beliefs on my own. My opportunity came when my best friend invited me to her church. This church was far different then the one I was raised in and I left the service feeling like I had been at a celebration, not a funeral. I wanted to continue going to the new church but I knew I had to have a clever plan in place so my mother would not suspect my act of treason. I felt that graduation from high school moved me into adulthood and was brave enough to tell my parents I no longer wanted to attend the church of my youth. They apparently did not get the memo that I was an adult and they forbid me to abandon their faith. My heart sank as I pleaded my case explaining I felt alive with my new beliefs and that they should be glad I want to attend church anywhere. My mother tried her best at inflicting guilt on me stating that she never dreamed that one of own children would betray her like this. So for the remainder of the time I lived at home we battled back and forth about church and religion.

Eventually my mother came around and accepted my decision and through it stills hurts her today she knows I value the foundation she and my father laid for my beliefs and faith. My traditions and faith just gained a new face, I still attend church and I still have my version of her Sunday dinner with my own family, including chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. Something’s are not meant to change.