Friday, April 08, 2005

Funeral For A Friend

I woke up this morning around 4:00AM EST to watch the funeral service for Pope John Paul II. Now this is a strange event for me because I grew up Catholic and this is the only Pope I've known and also a whole generation has known. Now I'm an American and therefore I was one of the Popes unruly children, when I say unruly, I mean as Americans we didn't completely agree with what came out of Rome, but I was still a Catholic and for the most part stuck to my roots, as did many others. He was very conservative and that roused a great deal of anger from the forward thinking Americans, but we still embraced this man when he came to our great land. I had the privilege of standing in the St. Louis Cathedral where he said a mass while in New Orleans, and that was a moving thing for me. Mostly because I'm a history nerd and seeing "exact" locations always makes me feel a part of that event, but now it has even greater meaning, standing where a great world leader once stood, seeing what he saw, I don't know how to explain it, but it was quite an emotion.

When it's all said and done, personally I admire him. I admire him for his convictions and unquestionable faith. I admire him for standing up for what he felt and believed to be right. I admire him for coming out of Soviet Poland, where the Church was looked upon badly, to become the leader of said Church and starting non-violent revolution against that same regime. I admire him for reaching out to other faiths. I admire him for standing up to those who doubted him in his own Church. I admire him for praying with the very man who tried to kill him. I admire him for pushing the boundaries of his office, for being a Pope like no others before. So yes, I dropped a few tears in the early hours of the morning and out side my bedroom where I watched on my 13 inch television, the sky was crying as well, the sky expressed the emotion that my self and many others felt, not just Catholics, but all people from all walks of life and all religious beliefs and some who have no belief at all. It was as if the world was crying over the loss of one of her children, as she has done so many times before.

Here's the other thing about the death of J.P. 2, last year we watched the funeral of Ronald Reagan, who was, for almost the first ten years of my life, the only president I knew. So here we have major figures of my life dying off. Now I didn't know these men personally by any means, but, I remember being a child and these two where everywhere. I knew them before I knew friends and now they are both gone. It's like my memories of my youth, kids I went to school with, events of my childhood, all of which are slowly dying. Not dying in the physical sense, but getting further and further away. I'm having what John Mayer calls a "Quarter Life Crisis", I'm facing mortality and feeling the panic of being stuck between the sheltered harbor of childhood and the rough waters of adulthood. I have rounded the cape and the continental drop off is fast approaching. I realized that I started high school ten years ago. I'm at an age that seemed like another world to me when I was younger. However I know, at the same time I've got a lot more years coming...