Tag Archives: Life Stories

Why are you playing, when you should be praying?!

Those words and that question, were fixed into my brain at the tender age of seven, and have lived there ever since I heard them from another child who said she was my friend. The play on words sounded odd and funny to me, I mean, we were outside playing and why would anyone say such a thing?! It sounded serious and scary. I actually had to stop from what I was doing, (running around and playing), to think about what this little girl had just said to me, because it sounded insulting. And, when I realized what she meant, it was in fact delivered to be insulting! And, that’s how I learned that my father had died.

As many children do when their parents, guardians or supervisors tell them to go out to play, that was exactly what I had done. That weekend is a fog to me, but those words stuck to me and no matter what kind of soap I’ve used, could never wash them away.

After that interaction, I had to go inside to my house, were for the first time I realized it was full of strangers most of them in uniform. If it hadn’t been daylight, I would have thought there was a party going on, but I heard no laughter or music.

The living room was smoky from cigarets and as I made my way through the room full of strangers, I heard my mother cry out in a scream I had never heard before and when I saw her laid out on the sofa crying as someone tried to console her, I was paralized with fear; I did not recognize her.

In what I can only describe as shock, I walked backwards till I couldn’t go any further. I had bumped into our record player, a piece of furniture back then, and proceed to sit on it as I watched the scene unfold before me.

A kind woman came up to me to ask how I was doing, in response, I asked her, “Is it okay that I’m not crying?” I didn’t know what else to say because tears were not flowing out of my eyes. She replied, “Amy, you can do whatever you want”.