Sweat poured from my forehead. I felt my shirt stick to my back. The chill inside and the heat of the body slammed in anger toward one another. I was awake now. Surely I wouldn’t sleep again for hours. Not with that startle of my body getting rifled through. Somehow the words, the actions, the abandonment, the hate, the ugly of life that had shamed me found metal. Metal formed into bullets and they seared through me. My last thought before waking. “Today I die.”
A mixing of reality.
A mind wandering from sacred space I nto the pits of human dysfunction and injustice. Both the fictitious cinematic tale and unspoken truths found residence in my dream in the same stream of thought. Not a dream to be had once, but one that stomped through my years.
There was no tortured soul in it, but starkly a deep trauma finding escape in picturesque form in my subconscious and then likened in my nightmares.
But not there. Not at the convent. The nightmare had no air in the home of peace, the place of joy.
The nun who told me to come soon, she said the same words. She told me she took little babies, took forgotten women, took her extra time and loved. Simply loved with all her life so that none would have to say “Today I die.”
Some did die though.
As I spoke of the circles hanging from a chain around my neck, as I spoke of the little ones who never breathed this side of heaven after hours of smiling as she asked of my three little boys who romp and race around my days, she remembered. She remembered in that moment, a conversation chased away by the ding of the elevator and the turn of the hall. The moment where she started to tell us of the babies who did not make it, whose life could not be secured by human love alone. I would ask her again later, I would ask of death and what she saw.
The nun. The Catholic Sister who held those who lived and those who died.
The mother. Her child gone too soon.
The widow. The tears and trials that will not let up.
The son. No manual of how to grieve and yet gripped by the tragedy.
The afflicted. Feeling alone with life, but a chore and curse.
Our love, no matter how strong.
The hate, no matter how sordid.
Today I die. Not from nightmares or famine. Not by choice or by calamity.
I die to that which defeats.
Love will win.
It already has.
Save not the victory for Heaven alone, but for the now, the today, the present.
For the all that you endure, the ways your body has been rifled by pain and for all that you enjoy, as the light of Heaven shimmers through the gaping wounds, chase hope, chose to die to darkness and live where Love wins.
Easter is coming.