Last month, I moved into my godmother’s home after she vacated it for an apartment in assisted living. My godmother lived here for thirty years, and while her daughters had cleaned out most of her possessions, a startling collection of Catholic paraphernalia remained: Virgin Mary statues and night lights, rosaries, variously decorated crucifixes (sometimes more than one in the same room), and even a bottle of holy water.
The presence of these items in the house brought me comfort; like the family photos she’d left on the wall, they were familiar and part of my history. Although I was given free reign to dispose of what was left behind in the house, I couldn’t part with any of these objects. Now that I’m more settled, one of the Virgin Mary lamps is in my bedroom, a Virgin Mary statuette in the living room, and Holy Water in a little cup outside the door. I also found a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the garage that I plan to dust off and hang somewhere, although I’m sure it will offend my parents’ decorating sensibilities (but that’s really too bad).