In spite of having attended a Catholic school my 12 years of school, I developed a spiritual side at an early age that I don’t know where it came from. Perhaps it was me trying to find some way to deal with everything.
I remember being put to bed, but having difficulty falling asleep. My parents would leave a night light on just in case I got scared. I never had that situation where I wondered if there was a creature under my bed or else.
What really scared me was thunder, which made me run to my parents’ bed to find comfort by squeezing and hiding between them.
Another detail was that my mom never gave me a pacifier. I guess my brother had difficulty letting go of it, but I had the habit of sucking my thumb, which you can’t take away. Once in my bed, she used to say to me ‘don’t do that’; I would move my hand to the side of the mattress, to quickly doing it again once she was gone.
On those nights that were calm, I would stand by the window in my room. The glare from the lamp would reflect on the glass, and I imagined it was an angel sitting there. I would talk to it like it was a friend. I would even say ‘good night’ to it. Don’t know what I spoke about, but whatever it was, it was the one thing that gave me the peace I needed to rest well.
When I became an older child, my mom told me the story that I was born on ‘el día de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre’, a very important day for Cubans. She would show me TV footage of processions made to honor her in that island, and encouraged me to always pray to her, as she believed I would always be protected by her.
All this was very amusing and made me feel special. My brother didn’t had a special birthday like mine, so at least that put me at another level. For once I was ‘better’ at him on something.
Still, understanding and blending religion and spirituality has not been easy. You see, in spite of being taught the first, I’m still struggling to grasp the whole essence of it.
On the other hand, my mom’s comment has had a lifetime effect on me. I have turned to ‘Cachita’ in the best and worst moments, and feel a special connection with her that has never gone away.
I don’t know how to explain it, other than when I think of this Lady, I feel a warm fuzzy feeling that calms, keeps me grounded, and reminds me that things will be fine.
Call it divine intervention, perhaps touched by an angel. Whatever it is, it’s a blessing that just keeps on giving.