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Mrs-HeckmanI’ve always savored Sundays. I loved going to church and everything that came with it and afterward.

If I were with my grandparents, I would sit with them and near my vast family in what was called the German Church in a small town settled by Bavarians in Pennsylvania. To this day, on a rare visit, I love reading the stained glass windows, all in German.

For quiet people, we certainly had plenty of gentle conversations on Sunday mornings, usually with relatives. Most people in that town were related in some way to each other. To my husband’s astonishment, I know many third and fourth cousins. On the rare times I see my Pennsylvania family, I slip into some form of the local dialect that is English but to this day has subtle Bavarian shadings.

I loved the doughnuts or family meals that were part of those Sundays, buying a big city newspaper, and returning to my grandparents’ home on a wooded hill to read it then or later if cousins, aunts and uncles appeared.

I think of those Sundays when I hear my daughter’s sweet voice in the morning, the excitement in her words about what the day holds — for her two dads and Ellen, usually joining the Buddhists, now and then the Quakers, then mixing with the community, then eating, then a trip in the afternoon to her favorite museum.

The news I gather on Sundays is usually on the Internet or on TV. Today, though, I had to turn it off to preserve some innocence in our home. The reporting may be excellent, but the content drains most of the optimism I wake up with. I want to keep my daughter safe as long as I can, for her to savor Sundays and have those memories with her decades later, to hold onto faith, and to know that the world can still be good and fair.