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I know there are some subjects that can just open a can of worms. That is not my intent. This is just me "thinking out loud". As many of you know -- I consider myself to be a "recovering catholic". I was raised loosely catholic.. I was baptized, went to CCD, had my first communion, reconciliation and I made my confirmation.

There were a number of things that factored into my detachment from the teachings of the catholic church. First.. the gay thing. I just don't see that I'm a bad person.. end of story.. not up for debate. Second.. the church's response to the child molestation charges throughout the country, but primarily here at ground zero in Boston. the fact that the Pope won't visit Boston to meet with these families and the cardinal who was behind protecting all of these priests has a nice cushy job at the Vatican. I also hold issue with the fact that the chuch allocated a MILLION dollars to send a mailing to every resident of Massachusetts of voting age in an effort to mobilize the state to push against the legality of gay marriage here in the Commonwealth. At the same time.. the church was closing parishes left and right to come up with the money to pay their legal settlements with those children, now adults, who had been the center of the abuse scandal. Third.. I learned that it was just a recent decision to allow the children of same-sex couples to be baptized into the religion. That mortifies me. Regardless of your take on the gay "thing".. how dare a church cast out a child because of the so-called sins of the parent.

Regardless.. I don't consider myself to be a Catholic anymore. We're not raising Ben Catholic.. we will introduce him to as many religions as we can and let him make the decision as he grows.. if he chooses. I feel a slight stab when I fill out hospital paperwork for Ben and write in "none" where the name of his religion would go. But I really am not in a place where I know what else to do. He definitely won't be raised in the religion that I was raised in and he definitely won't be raised in the religion that shiela was raised in. That leaves us in a position where we're thinking about things like "does it matter" and "what is right".

I believe that I have a very strong faith in a higher power. I do not believe that our existence is a mere act of chaos theory. I do believe in evolution and the science/fact-based portion of my mind believes in all of the scientific data that backs up Darwin's theories. I just believe that there must be some higher power, i hesitate to say God, that plays a roll.. and I do believe that we all have souls.. and that we're not simply genetic organisms (probably the wrong term for it) that happened to evolve randomly from environmental changes over billions of years. I just believe that i don't know the answer. I get irritated when people try to force me into believing that their "answer" is the correct answer. The only truth is that we don't know the truth. That makes it very hard to know who to pray to.

Why do I want to pray? Well, for comfort.. for hope.. for any number of reasons. I have faith that there is a reason and a benefit to prayer.. it just doesn't fit into the confines of the writings in the bible or any other organized religion that i've found (so far.. i'm open to suggestions.. i hear that the church of scientology is accepting cash from new members).

My friend.. I'll call her "D".. had her baby boy yesterday. After a very difficult pregnancy, he was born prematurely at 28 weeks and 1 day. Thankfully -- he came out crying. He was delivered by emergency c-section and is currently in the same NICU that Ben stayed in during his first week. The big difference is that ben was 35 weeks along and was almost 6 pounds and breathing and feeding and keeping himself warm all by himself. Little baby Brennan is 2.5 pounds and will need a LOT of care over the next few months as he continues to grow and hopefully thrive under the care of the amazing NICU staff and the love of his parents and older sister. I believe the survival rate for "28 weekers" is about a 90% survival rate. That, in itself, is a miracle. But I put more weight of that miracle on the world of the March of Dimes and the advances of medicine that in a higher power.

Regardless of anything.. there is a little life.. a tiny little boy with ten fingers and ten toes who deserves a healthy and long life. I pray that his time in the NICU is spent growing and that he doesn't have any setbacks will the many illnesses that can affect premature babies. I pray that as his original due date approaches, and he is over 3 months old, that he will be perfectly healthy. I pray that he has no long term healthy problems due to his prematurity. I pray for a quick and complete physical and emotional recovery for his mom. I'm not sure who I'm praying to, but I hope that I'm being heard.

For those of you who haven't already donated toward our March for Babies walk for the March of Dimes -- please try to give if you have the means. It's not to support me or my family.. it's to support all of the little guys and girls like baby Brennan.. it's to increase survival rates for preemies, decrease health issues, and decrease premature birth as a whole. This has got to stop!


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