In non sewing related news, today – two weeks ago, Pope Francis made his debut in the US – first stopping in Washington D.C., then NYC, and finally, Philadelphia.
I’m not religious by any means. I joke with my grandmother, a hardcore Roman Catholic, to pray for me when she goes to church. She attends everyday. My beliefs… or non beliefs… or whatever beliefs stem from my mom dying when I was just a teenager. It has been ten years since she passed, and it’s still hard for me to see a mother and a daughter together – shopping, lunching, whatever. What kind of being could take her away from me?
I texted my dad these same thoughts the Saturday Francis was in town, his response, “You and mom had good memories. Consider her in the other room. You two will meet again.” I do hope and believe I will see her again.
Philadelphia was eerie the Saturday and the Sunday Francis was here. It was a surreal, one-of-a-kind experience. The city literally shut down. No work. No trash removal. No mail. Philadelphians who were in the “traffic box”, AKA Francis Festival Zone, were quarantined Friday through Monday. If you left the zone, you couldn’t come back in until after. Almost every street within that zone was cleared. Either car owners removed their vehicle(s) before Francis’ arrival or the city towed them. I went running that Saturday morning, and it shocked me to see National Guards at every corner and people walking from miles aways towards Center City. It felt like someone else, someone foreign, had taken over and that a pilgrimage of some sort was taking place.
It is estimated that one million people came to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia. Whether that it true or not, it made me question – maybe this religious thing is legit? It was inspiring to see people, believers, come out for him. I was moved. It could be that there was a reason that whoever is in charge of this universe took my mother away from me. I may not know yet, I just have to trust. Have faith.
Since her passing, I’ve always felt my mom to be a guiding light in my life. She’s still alive, she’s still here, but not in a tangible, breathing form. She’s just in the other room.
I only took my camera out that Saturday night. My camera is my baby, my pride and joy, and I treat it as such. I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged in the crowds. Here are a few snaps from that night.