March 1, 2017 Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality - or lack of - for the first time.
Warning: this is an ugly story and you may want to skip it.
In 1972, when Cathy and I were 13, our father was diagnosed with a meningioma, which is a tumor that forms on the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull. These tumors are often slow-growing and as many as 90% are benign. However, some grow quickly, cause serious problems, and are fatal.
Unfortunately, Daddy-o had the latter.
My family - maternal and paternal - were of the Pentecostal denomination. There was a revival at the church my dad's people attended, and on the third night, the headliner was a faith healer. My grandmother asked for an article of my dad's clothing, and my mom gave her one of his linen handkerchiefs.
The night of the main event arrived, my grandmother, and my dad's two brothers showed up at the house, grabbed Cathy and me, and dragged us along. The speaker gave his sermon, then asked if anyone wished to be healed. Our grandmother forced the handkerchief into my hand, then pushed and shoved Cathy and me into the aisle and all the way to the front of the church. She spoke to the healer, told him my dad's story.
The man took my hand in his, put the handkerchief in my palm, placed Cathy's hand on top, then put his other hand on top of hers and prayed. It seemed to go on for hours, though truthfully, it was probably less than a minute. He finally released us and we stumbled back to our seats.
My dad died a couple of weeks later.
After we got home from the hospital, people were showing up by carloads. When my grandmother got there, she was overwhelmed, which is perfectly understandable. But... she stood in front of Cathy and me, pointed her finger, and announced to the house that our daddy died because we didn't have enough faith and pray hard enough.
Yeah... that fucked us up for a long time.