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"Are you there God? It's me."

I sat with a blanket around me on the hardware floor of my bedroom. The black bookshelf to my left, the closet curtain behind me, and the decorated dresser to my right made a cozy nook for me. Ever since I was a young child, I loved sitting on the ground. It made me feel connected to the Earth- balanced, safe, secure. I shared the room with my twin brother, William, who currently resided in the living room where he was sure to be on the computer. That left me to have a moment of peace and quiet in the busy household. I was at my dad's house this weekend, I spent half my time here and the other half at my mom and grandparent's home. It was one of my grandparents that caused me to speak to God that evening. 

You have to understand, I am not an overly religious person, strictly an Easter and Christmas Eve churchgoer. It was not that I didn't believe in God or any of the religious stories I had grown up with, or rather, it was not that I did not want to. As I had explained to my mother several times, I believed in a force of love and goodness, call it God if you wish. On that particular evening, I did choose that name. I pray rarely and so I was not completely sure of how it was done. I figured that I needed something to look at. A shell? A rock? A candle? Yes, that would do, a candle. I set it in front of me, staring at that unlit wick. I considered lighting it but did not wish to wander through the house to find a match. Unlit it is. Besides, isn't that what God is? An unlit candle? Ready to share its joyful flame to anyone it needs, patient, and humble.

"Hi God. As you know, I don't do this as often as maybe I should. My mom tells me that prayer can help calm the mind. I promised her I would try and so here I am. I’ll start with what I’m thankful for if that’s alright with you. I’m thankful for my home, my family, my friends, my warm bed, my books, and all the other good things that make me smile. I know that you have already received a lot of prayers these past years about her, but I’m going to add to the pile. My grandma, who I call Nana, she’s sick. I’ve lived with her for almost my whole life and she, along with my grandfather, are like another set of parents to me. Needless to say, we’re connected.

“As you know, she’s been fighting with pancreatic cancer for a long while now. She’s defied all the laws of science and nature by still being around today, maybe I have you to thank you for that. We were told that she had two weeks to live two years ago. I know I should be happy about that, and I am, but it’s been hard. I’ll get to the point. I know you’re not a genie with three wishes and everything, but like you know I’m inexperienced in prayer, so I’m going to go with that idea.

“My first wish is for my mom. She’s so busy trying to make everyone happy but herself, I think she sometimes forgets that she matters too. My second wish is for my grandfather. Diving into perfecting his physical health, he tries to pretend like nothing isn’t happening. I see the pain he’s carrying around. He loves my grandmother. They’ve been married for over fifty years. My last wish is for my grandmother. She thinks she is going to win a medal or something for not showing her pain. She’s not. Anyway, I just want all of them to be happy. They are as much as they can, I know that. They’ve never stopped caring for me and my brother and being the best family the world has to offer. What I’m trying to say is that I want them around for as long as possible. 

“I’m not quite sure how to end this. I don’t feel like ‘goodbye’ is right. It’s rather final, don’t you think?  Maybe I’ll just go the traditional route. Amen.”

I refocused my gaze from the candle to my surroundings. The lowly lit room seemed less lonely. It was an odd feeling for me, the sudden comfort that washed through me like ocean waves on a rock. I was not sure how long it would last, and not wanting it to stop, I remained where I was. I could hear the sound of my sister laughing on the phone in the distance. I could hear my father whistling in the kitchen. I could hear the music from my brother's game. Despite all of that, all I really heard was the quiet that enveloped me like a warm blanket on a chilly night. Whether that was God granting me those long minutes or my own imagination I did not know nor did I care. 

All I knew at that moment was that I felt peace. I always liked that word- peace. I was raised with it all about me. It hung on block letters on a sign next to a picture of a dove, it was entwined on paper around ivy vines, and it was written in fine cursive on the pictures that hung on the walls. It was also the word I thought of when I saw my grandmother. She was the one who surrounded herself with peace in writing and in feeling. Peace was what I felt when I hugged her. It was peace that I heard in the melody of her voice. It was peace I felt when she walked into a room. It was peace I touched when I held her hand. Peace was all that I wanted for her that evening and all the rest.

February 10, 2022 23:47

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1 comment

Roger Scypion
07:37 Feb 24, 2023

A fantastic story. Very moving. Took me back to my grandparents and all the joyous times I had with them and miss so much. Thank you for sharing your amazing words.


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