I’m sitting at the small desk next to window in my mom’s classroom. My brother, Zach sits at the computer desk. “Joel’s been texting me about Papa,” Zach quietly says to me. Joel is our cousin. I look at Zach’s face for a moment and then drop my eyes to the papers sprawled out across the desk surface. After a couple of minutes of silence, I look toward my mom who is sitting at a round table as she eats lunch with her co-workers. “What’s the news on Papa?” I ask her abruptly. Zach looks to our mom with a forced patience as we wait for her response. She looks at us as tears fill her eyes.
I once prayed to God to bring my brother’s dead box turtle back to life. I didn’t know how to pray. I just got on my knees and opened with, “Dear God.” Of course the turtle stayed dead, but that’s not the point. The point is I thought I had someone to talk to when I needed help.