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A Religious Experience

The church Chorus sings in the background,

The rain beats against beautiful glass-stained windows,

Incense flies to the sky like a dust ghost,

The priest kneels before the altar,

And I hold on to her,

My mother squishes my hand and smiles.

Her last words kept replaying in my head;

“I’m leaving next week,”

I feel the air being sucked out of me once again,

The world turns a blur again,

I feel my heart stop,

Then it beats again and again,

Faster, and faster

I feel it beating in my throat,

Incense penetrates my mind;

it feels as if I had eaten a lot of ice at once.

My nose leaks,

She hugs me tight.

Her aroma brings me calmness —

Like the smell of white roses after a soft rain on a hot day,

Like the ones my grandmother cares for so much in her garden.

My throat once again tightens and I hold a sob,

I know it might be the last moment in a long time, but I will be this close to her,

The Chorus finishes singing,

The little bells in front of the altar ring,

Everyone kneels,

The rain continues,

I pray,

She prays,

Her sight lost at the distance in thought,

Her pale and sharp face holds back her emotions,

And her thoughts are hidden from me.

Our hands say the unspoken words,

She passes her soft fingers over through my messy and curly hair,

She closes her hand and intertwines her fingers with mine,

They are almost the same size now,

My Mother smiles and says,

“You are a big and strong man now; I am sure you will take care of your sister.”

I nod, but I feel the world shaking,

I just want to tell her I am still her baby,

And I am the kid who just last night slept in her arms,

While I played around with her long curly hair,

I had happy dreams, but I cannot remember them.

We rise,

The Chorus resumes their angelical singing once again,

The priest asks us to offer each other the sign of peace,

I hug my mom by the neck like I always do, and I press my forehead against her chin,

I scream a silent cry,

She holds me close and closes my eyes with her hand.

I feel lost but safe.

Calmness washes over me,

The rain stops.

The church’s doors open, and light comes in.