I know the blogosphere will probably be overwhelmed with conclave posts, but I get to write without your eye rolling since I didn't post about B16 abdicating, right?
When JPII died, I cried. I distinctly remember where I was (in Charleston, visiting my brother with my parents, out to lunch). My brother broke the news, and my reaction totally shocked me... and embarassed me a little, too! I didn't know I was so attached to him until that very moment. I had been in his audience for World Youth Day in Toronto and just love, love, loved him, like the rest of the world. He was so sweet with the youth, and so fatherly. I loved the sweet sentiment of us chanting "JPII we love you!" over and over, and when we finally stopped, his saying back "JPII, he loves you!".
But I honestly can't remember anything about B16 coming in. I must not have watched anything on tv, read anything online, etc. I mean, I knew a pope was chosen and I knew his name, but I don't have any specific memories. It took me a while to like B16, which was all about me, and nothing about him (you know... the famous "it's not you, it's me" line). I just didn't make any effort to get to know who he was for a while. I can't pinpoint exactly when I started really liking him, but I am guessing my 2007 trip to Rome, standing in the papal audience definitely helped! (And to clarify, I didn't not like him; I just kind of didn't care much.)
Anyways, back to today. I have been very excited about the conclave and knew it was starting, but didn't really know what would be televised. Thankfully, two of my non-Catholic friends texted me about watching it (haha!) so I found EWTN's streaming feed online. My new office mate graciously agreed that I could have it on in the background... I think it freaked her out a little. I only saw bits and pieces since I was doing other things, but it was really cool to watch them filing into the Sistine Chapel. I have to admit that we went into the Chapel at the end of the Vatican museum tour and I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we saw, and therefore underwhelmed by the Chapel. BUT seeing the conclave begin there today definitely stirred up some strong emotions! As much as I missed B16 and don't like change, I am excited to witness this moment in our Church's history!