My family hated John F. Kennedy because he was Catholic. My father was Catholic too, but I never knew that until I went through his one drawer after he died and found his beads and Bible. He never mentioned it.
My mother was Irish. She hauled me to our Methodist church in my wool suit every Sunday to sweat and itch. I believed in this God hard. He got credit for every lucky thing that happened to me. I never blamed Him for anything.
I knelt beside my bed every night next to my mother and recited:
“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord, my soul, to take. Amen.”
Done with that poetry, I proceeded to remind him of who to bless. “God bless Mummy and Daddy,” followed by a careful laundry list of family members. I always included the dog of the moment, which needed it as they lasted not very long. The Devil liked running them over with cars, I guess.
Praying, like Santa and the Easter Bunny, reluctantly lost their substantiality by high school. However, petitioning the Lord for shit lasted till college. God and I worked my teen years hard. I solicited His intervention on every pimple. And on the hearts of every girl on whom I got a crush.
I don’t ask Him for anything anymore. I think it is vaguely unseemly. I have too much. It wouldn’t even surprise me if He came sniffing around to get something off of me.