As a young child - I was brought up to believe - but over time, as I grew older I just struggled with this as I felt that my personal struggles in life were "unfair". I always wondered if this person I was to have believed in was so caring for me - why has he hurt me so much? Why? As I struggled with my answers - I stopped going to church at an early age - I stopped praying - I stopped using the word "blessed" - and the list goes on. I am what I would call a "New Atheist". I guess you are wondering what I mean by that statement. I mean I just actually came to terms with myself that "I do not believe and have not for a very long time and I am just now finally calling myself what I actually am - an Atheist". I am not ashamed - but I am not running around with bells and whistles screaming I am such a person.
I found myself in an ice cream store this past Wednesday and I can tell you there were probably twenty catholic’s in the store with me. How do I know you ask? Well - it was not hard to tell - it was Lent - Ash Wednesday - 46 days before Easter - March 9th. I made a statement to the checker "Man - you can sure tell the Catholics in the store can't you?" You should have seen the looks I received for that statement. I actually felt terrible - because that is how they believe and just because I do not believe, I had no right to insult them and I think that is exactly how it was taken - as an insult. I never said another word - but as I left the store - one of the catholic’s looked at me and gave me a very unusual smile. I can't describe it - but it was very strange.
What also affected my belief was a terrible event with my Mother - the light of my life. At the young age of 72 - she was diagnosed with cancer - it was breast cancer. The first set of test came back and we were told that there was nothing that could be done for her as the cancer was all through her body - however, that was incorrect - the doctors had misread the scans and it was contained to her breast only. When I tell this story - the first thing that the person says is "Thank God". I usually have this very puzzled look on my face - even when my mother says things like "God is watching out for me". In my mind, I would say - "If he was watching out for you - then you would not have cancer along with the other tens of thousands in your same situation". She is a firm believer and has no idea that I don't believe - but for a long time I struggled with the existence of this leader everyone refers to all the time. I use to say, "If he is real - man he has done nothing but hurt me my entire life and who needs friends like that on your team!"
It breaks my heart to see my mother fighting for her life - but she is a just that -- a fighter and I love her with all my heart. I can't even describe that love to you - as it is bigger than life itself - at least to me. I am so torn and I can't even tell you why or how. I know that sounds strange - but it is the truth. There are days I just cry - and I am tearing up now just typing this article - and there are days I can smile - but it does not last very long. I believe the only reason I am here is to take care of my mother and make sure she has everything she needs to live comfortably and in my opinion - once she is gone - I have no other reason to be here. I don't even know my father - he has not been around my entire life -but my mother has - every step of the way. I remember when we struggled and she had to find a way to feed us and keep utilities on - we struggled to make it through - but she found a way - she always found a way to take care of us. She kept us safe and out of harm - me and my two siblings with me being the youngest. I am at a young age now of forty-four and I have always said - "I wish I had just 1/1 millionth of the strength and courage my mother has - there would be no stopping me." She raised three of us as a single mother and we all came out just fine. For her to see her kids obtain graduate degrees and walk across the stage was one of the proudest moments in my life and I hope hers - because she made it possible. She always says "No matter how dark the clouds, no matter how bad the storm or how choppy the waters -there will be sunlight - there will be sunlight and calm in the morning."
I know she is right - but I am still waiting for that sunlight and calm..............I am still waiting. Can someone tell me again who is suppose to make the sun come out, calm the waters and make those dark clouds go away? Please tell me.