August has been a whirlwind month. We are still making sense of this month. Still hoping that we would wake up from this dream. Still asking questions. Still wondering why. Still confused as to how we got here. Still wishing we never got here. Still hoping for all this to go away. But most of all still wishing Angi was here with us. Today marks two weeks since she left us. My husband still has questions. I have some too. We have no answer, no way of getting to the bottom of our ordeal and this is the most difficult aspect of it all. To think we could have saved her if we knew on time. My sister should be alive is all he says. I agree is what I say. We know that our questions will never fully be answered. Still we ask them to ourselves, to each other, to remind ourselves that no woman, no girl too we know, or don’t even know should ever go through this ordeal again. It’s our mission. One we hope to share with the world, to make sure we get to the bottom of cervical cancer. We can end it. We will. We were encouraged by a card we receive in the mail today. A perpetual Catholic mass card in Angie’s honor. It came today, exactly 2 weeks. We are motivated. Our fight will be perpetual too.

What good is a seed without soil? These words echoed by Father Cullen our Jesuit Priest during his last mass with us today has me restless. To germinate and become a flower or a fruit tomorrow requires fertile soil. So what then is your stance once you realize that seeds and soils go together, like raindrops and water. My stance is to stay in the middle of it. To burrow deeply into the soil and mark your territory. Of course the terrain will be rough. The deeper you get, tough too for any seed still requires certain conditions to bear fruit, like water and sunlight. I say still dig deep. Become one with the soil. Get to know the depths you go and love every single terrain you come across. Don’t wait to for when you become a flower or a fruit to tell your story. Rather step inside, with your paper and pencil or phone and write. Tell every single aspect of your story, of how you became one with soil. It’s impossible to become something other than a seed without some commitment to the soil, a kinship even. Commitment runs right through seeds and soils. Like the sun on sunny days or rain on rainy days. Every condition is committed to the end. Just like Father Cullen and his commitment with our Saint Matthews church. Though this day has arrived and he will now be leaving us, we still remain his seeds. And what good are we without him.

We will miss you Fr. Cullen.

The month of May is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Today we crowned her head with roses, covered her body with blue scarf and adorned her fingers with a white and pink rosary. It’s subtle things like this that make my heart swell with love and pride for our church family in the Ville. We are truly a unique bunch but completely devoted to our Catholic faith. Sunday after Sunday, the same people attend and we know everyone if not by name but surely by sight. One of our church members prior to church today said they don’t know how I do with all my children. He noted they could tell they all have a strong personality judging from what they choose to wear to church each Sunday. It’s as if he was in my home every Sunday morning with a front row seat to the daily struggles of dressing little children with different personalities. My son Chiwetel for example, only wants to wear traditional outfits from Nigeria. I remember buying the perfect suit for him just this Easter which he balked at and wore his traditional clothes. The color was peach-like so I let that slide. The next Sunday he wore the ones with brown pants and we have been roating with different traditional outfits Sunday after Sunday. My other son is obsessed with suits and ties. He wore a blazer with a matching tie to church last Sunday and you guessed it, he fought to wear the same thing this Sunday. My daughter is the only one that is easy going when it comes to clothes. I know I digressed but it’s details like this, from another church member’s lens that personifies why I love coming to church every Sunday. It’s a small group of people, a small family, but Sunday after Sunday, we all feel connected on this journey through life. And as I look through the picture from our May crowning of the Virgin Mary, I can’t help but be thankful for the opportunity to call this my church family. Keep crowning the Virgin Mary, the mother of all families

I never imagined I would not celebrate Easter, not celebrate a service in church, not congregate with people again. But last year and thanks to a Pandemic, we did. We spent the day in the most surreal way, listening to service online and contemplating how long this would last. That feeling of never going to church again is the reason why today is so special to me. We have all come full circle in my home with a pandemic and vaccines and though Covid19 cases are on the rise, we look forward with zeal to celebrating Easter in church again. To celebrating mass with our church and with people we love again. It’s almost like the gift of Christ himself. On Friday, he died for our sins again. He humbly gave himself up on the cross so we could have life again. On the third day, he rose again. Welcome to that day again.

Welcome to another opportunity to roll away the stone again. Welcome to the sight of an empty tomb again. I don’t take it for granted, this privilege of knowing Christ will rise up again. He may have died for our sins on Friday, but today he rises up so we can have hope again. And so we roll away the stone once more, roll away our fears, roll away our worries, roll away our weaknesses, so we can live again. Last year’s Easter may have been weird, but today I welcome the opportunity to roll it away from my mind. Happy Easter and may the risen Christ by a source of hope to you. And feel free to roll away what bugs you down too.