Today I feel really grown. Donning my Sundays best, I sit in a pew alongside Mami and Papi and my sister, Adayna, who sits on the other end with her fiancé and beautiful 7-month-old daughter, Nila Anais. Today isn’t any typical Sunday. It is Easter Sunday – a holiday where Christians rejoice over the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also the day of Nila’s baptism.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I attended mass during Easter Sunday. Though I’ve always known the importance of the holiday and its meaning, I never thought to wake up at 9am, put on a dress, and praise the Lord. And yet today, I find myself sitting peacefully at a church in Brooklyn, listening intently to the priest and the arch bishop. I turn my iPhone to vibrate as soon as I take a seat. I pull down my dress to have the hem meet my knees as to not offend the congregation. I sing along to the hymns and am happy to give peace to the members of the church, my family, and friends. Soon, it is time for the baptism. I hear myself saying “I do” when the bishop asks if the godparents and parents reject Satan. I say “I do” because I believe in God and Jesus Christ. And with that, I am allowed to witness the baptism of my niece turned goddaughter.
Now, I sit in my sisters house, watching my father nap on the long, brown living room couch. I sniff the aroma of pollo al horno, adobo, oregano, morro de guandules, and hamburger patties that my sister and Mami are preparing. I peek over Nila’s crib as she sleeps. I am at peace and blessed to have my family. I am thrilled that we can celebrate Christ and Nila’s new Christian life as a unit.
We have come such a long way.
So yes, today I feel really grown as I am a woman who has flourished tremendously over the last year. God has tested me many times and in many ways. Tested my faith, my love for self, my love for my family. Yet I survive the falls and pick myself up, full of faith still. Now, I am eager to live a full life with this new mentality, a greater sense of self, and a renewed spiritual awareness.