The Strangest Thing

Wednesday November 10th, 2021

Two nights ago I had the strangest thing happen to me. It was Monday night and I was in bed early because I was dealing with body aches as if I were coming down with something. I was reading a bit on my tablet before going to sleep. I had the tablet right in front of me on top of the covers. I had just turned on the screen as it had been on sleep mode.

I saw what looked like smoke coming from the tablet, but the thing is it wasn’t even hot. I put it to my nose and it didn’t smell like something burnt or like smoke either. I should say at this point that it’s been almost 4 months since my abuelito Jose passed away. At the beginning of the month we celebrated Dia de Los Muertos with my nieces and nephew. I made an altar for my dearly departed loved ones that I still have up in my living room. I was inspired to put the altar together because of his recent passing. I’m a former teacher and the only other time I had made an altar for Dia de Los Muertos was years ago when I taught 1st grade.

Among the items placed on the altar, I placed a cigarette for my abuelito Angel and another for my uncle Robert. When I saw the smoke in bed although it was just a few seconds long it was right in front of me so there’s no denying what I saw. After a few moments I thought it was my abuelito Jose. He also smoked for a long time and it’s also one of the reasons that his health declined in the end because of tumor in his throat that was discovered too late.

The next morning I placed a cigarette by his photo as well. He stopped smoking many years ago so I don’t recall what brand he preferred. I just put a Camel Light which is what I started smoking recently. I know what I saw and it makes me believe he’s still with us. I hope he’s up in heaven happy, pain free, chatting away with my late abuelita Genoveva, his brothers and sisters that have also passed as well as well as catching up with my other abuelito Angel.

I like the altar in my living room and looking at the pictures of my loved ones, it makes me stop a few moments every day to think of them. I thought of keeping it for the rest of the month but I may keep it until the new year. I’m the kind of person that believes there’s an after life. I believe in spirits and ghosts. I believe my departed loved ones are my guardian angels always there watching over me. I was raised Catholic but I don’t attend mass or am very religious like my parents. I believe there is a God, most nights I make the sign of the cross across my face before falling asleep, something I recently started months ago. I used to pray more and in my darkest moments pray even harder to God. But I don’t pray much these days, I prefer to think that the thoughts and conversations I have with myself in my head are my private talks with God.

This post wasn’t suppose to get on the topic of Religion but now that I’m talking on the subject I’ll continue. As mentioned I was raised Catholic. I attended Catholic schools most of my life. I’ve been baptized, completed my 1st communion, and confirmation because I went to a Catholic school and because of my parents. As a child we lived on the South side of Chicago in a neighborhood called Little Village (La Villita), and our church was Epiphany Peace. This church played a big role in my life as a child because of going to it’s school and living just a block from there. On Sunday’s I would go to church with my parents. I went because I had no choice initially and I can’t recall at what point I stopped going to mass but I just didn’t want to go anymore.

There are 2 reasons I stopped going to mass. One is the fact that as a child I was basically forced to go by my parents, I had no choice we had to go. The 2nd reason came to me as I got older. I realized when I would go to mass that my mind would easily wander to other things instead of focusing on what the priest was saying. I would think of what I had to do when I got home, of the week ahead, and so many other thoughts. I thought what’s the point of coming to mass if I’m not fully here paying attention. I thought it was pointless to go if I was not there 100% in mind and body.

That church, Epiphany, is special to me besides completing most of my sacraments there, I celebrated my 8th grade graduation there. Being that we went to the church’s school, I also attended weekly mass. I have said that when I get married I would love to get married at Epiphany because it was such an important part of my childhood in Little Village. plus I think it’s such a beautiful church. I dream of my dad walking me down the aisle there and marrying the love of my live at the altar.

I may not be religious but I consider myself a spiritual person. I believe that when we die a whole new world awaits us. My hope is when I die to be reunited with my loved ones, having them be there to welcome me with open arms and having a great big fiesta every single day in heaven.

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