It was the smell that brought me back first. The musty tapestries and dried flowers that lined the walls, the June sun through the stained glass windows illuminating the dust that filled the air in greens and purples, but doing nothing to warm the cold stone of the church. I was brought back to Sunday morning services, attending with my Nana, and now a decade later we were here to bury her.
My daughter Faith had a brooding look on her usually sunny face. When she returned home from college for winter break, her mood alternated from surly to morose. My efforts to engage her in conversation failed and I tried every approach I knew as a professional therapist but she refused to open up.
My alarm startled me awake, even though the only sound it made was the gentle vibration of my cell phone against my nightstand. It seemed every morning promptly at 9:15 I went through this ritual when it went off, causing me to nearly jump out of my skin. I reached over for the little button on the side, stopping the noise and rolled back over, snuggling deeper into the warm blankets. I heard the covers rustle slightly, and then I felt a single finger tracing patterns on the bare skin of my back.
It was close to midnight when Sarah Mason awoke in her bedroom from a bad night's sleep. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she sobbed heavily, her breathing erratic and uncontrolled, her facial expressions ridden with angst and pain. A lamp was switched on in the hallway outside and quietly her brother, John Mason standing six feet one, opened the door to her bedroom and made his way inside.