Mothers are supposed to listen and, afterward, to respond with some wisdom and perspective, but these things were not my mother's strong suit.
When we're dealing with the people in our family - no matter how annoying or gross they may be, no matter how self-inflicted their suffering may appear, no matter how afflicted they are with ignorance, prejudice or nose hairs - we give from the deepest parts of ourselves.
I loved every second of Catholic church. I loved the sickly sweet rotting-pomegranate smells of the incense. I loved the overwrought altar, the birdbath of holy water, the votive candles; I loved that there was a poor box, the stations of the cross rendered in stained glass on the windows.
Most marriages are a mess, and the children get caught between two bitter, antagonistic parents. My parents stayed married for 27 unhappy years, till their kids were grown, and this was a catastrophe for us.