I had to save one half, that is, four seats, of a front side pew once so that some psalmists would be able to reach the ambo easily, and then slip out to join the rest of the musicians in the loft.
Maybe 20 minutes before time to begin, a man arrived and stood glaring at us.
I explained the situation, and standing in a three quarters empty church which would never fill to much more than half, he gestured widely and wildly, and hissed "and where in the world do ya think I'm gonna sit?"
And yet I now have "my" seat. I inherited the Rose's seat at weekday Mass, and on Sunday, Himself and I, after two years of jockeying with an older couple who may be snowbirds, seem to "own" our seats.
Raised protestant, he likes the front.... me, I was always a behind-pillars, or leaning-against-a-back-wall kind of congregant.... the things one does for love, huh?
There is a lovely little old lady we sit next to -- Himself tells me that on days when I have had to attend another Mass, she cold-shoulders him, but she is certainly friendly enough to me AND HIM when I am there. I'll take his word for it, but he is very sensitive.
She had pointed out a listing in the bulletin, the intentions for one Mass to me, and several days before, I made a point to ask the lay reader scheduled for that Mass, whom I know slightly from daily Mass, if she knew how to pronounce The Rose's last name, and I'm afraid I drilled he on it.
The on the day, before Mass I went back to the sacristy to see what visiting priest we had and I told him, truthfully, that I would never have been forgiven if I hadn't schooled him on on the pronunciation of the Rose's surname.
Lovely man, he understood, (not sure how, because I choked up and became utterly inarticulate, how after so long can I miss her and weep for her every day? well, no matter,) he understood and he nailed it.
(The lay reader did not fare so well, but gamely gave it a real try and then ended up stumbling over the next intention, a name which came out perilously close to a Irish obscenity.)
But all in all, she would have been very pleased. (And I am serious, she would have been furious had the most common mispronunciation been sounded - she would have haunted me. She roused herself from near coma states to correct doctors toward the end.)
Anyway, the little old lady stayed to the very end of Mass.
This is significant, because she is a nicotine addict who idgents fom about the Offertory onward, and rushes out othe cloister to have a ciagarette immediately after she recieves at every other Mass.
I saw her forbearance as a lovely tribute.
Yes, The Rose would have been pleased.