In 2020, the virus took over the city. Everyone was depressed and scared. Life was dreary. You couldn’t do things. You couldn’t enjoy life. I hated the lockdown.
In July 2018, I was invited to a meeting by my religious superior in Brazil. He presented a request that the superior of New Jersey had made. He was asking for someone from our congregation to collaborate with them in their mission. He told me, “You could be the best representative to go to the United States because you are multilingual. You know English already.” Immediately, in the following month, they asked me to prepare my documents for the visa. When the process was completed, I left for the U.S.
I was only 11 years old. None of us knew that our lives would be changed drastically in a matter of hours. I started the day by getting ready for school; as on a typical Tuesday, I had a piano lesson after class from 4:30 until 5:00 p.m. The day went by as usual for my friends and me; we were dismissed at 2:00 p.m., as usual. I called my mom to tell her that I was not feeling well, and that I didn’t want to stay for my piano lesson. She understood and came to pick me up.
* A 2004 R&B song called “Spirit” transports me to another time and place. I was being admitted to the hospital for a scheduled spinal surgery. I thought I had the strength to continue, but the more pain I felt after the surgery, the less faith I had that God would help me. This song …