Today is Passover. Papa and I will celebrate it together without Mother for the first time. My name is Sarah, and I am eleven.
Yesterday I prepared all of the food for our Seder meal today. Last year Mother and I cooked it together. I miss her so much…
The streets are quitet now, but yesterday, as I worked the mortar and pestle to grind the mill into flour, there were riots, screaming, crying and executions going on. I am frightened when they come through the streets to execute the prisoners. It is call a crucifixion.
As I was pouring the oil onto the flour, I remembered one time, when some of the boys in our village went up to the Skull at night. That is where they crucify the prisoners. They came back telling ghosts stories, trying to scare the girls. Even though I don’t believe in ghosts, the stories were scary. I do believe in angels, though. They helped my people escape slavery from Egypt.
Tonight Papa and I will read the Passover story together. This year for the first time I will light the candles that will begin our Passover. Mother has done it in the past, but I will light them this year, and in my mind will will see her in the head cover she wore as she placed fire to wick.
Papa comes into the room for us to begin. He holds Mother’s shawl that covered her head when she prayed, and places on my head. He pats my head and smiles, but I see the sadness in his eyes.
I pull her shawl to my cheek and breathe in. Her fragrance still lingers, and closing my eyes, I can pretend she is still here.
Again we wash our hands with blessings for us and the bread. Another blessings and we eat the bread. We continue until all of the parts of the are completed.
With my head against Papa, we rest after our meal. My mind wanders back to the men who were crucified.
“ Papa, was one of the men executed, the one who healed Priscilla when she was sick?” Priscilla is a friend of mine who lives in our village. Her Papa and mine are friends.
“What did he do wrong, Papa?”
“I don’t really know, child. Once I listened to him teach, he seemed like a good man to me. But let us talk of happier things.”
Soon it is bedtime. It seems like I have just closed my eyes when there is a knocking on the door. One eye opens, then the other to see the sun peaking in my window as if it were just waking up as well.
The slap, slap sound of big feet and creaking of the door assures me I will not need to leave the comfort of my bed.
“AAAYYYYyyyyyy!,” A sound my brave Papa has never made in all my life.
Feet on the floor, and my heart swishing in my ears, I race to take my stand beside Papa.
Then I see, and the sight freezes me in place.
I want to speak but words and breath have caught in my throat.
Her words are soft and gentle as is her hand that cups my face. “Sarah, my dove, do not be afraid”, she whispers, “I have seen Messiah and He lives!”
Father reaches out touching her hair, closing his eyes he brings it to his lips.
Emotions begin to flow wet and free like the spring rains.
Shock releases it hold on me and I lung forward, wrapping my arms around her waist, never intending to let go.
Hand to Papa’s rib and one around my back, she leads us to the table.
“Come, I have so much to share with you both.”, and her voice is a cool breeze on a hot day.
Matthew 27:52-53 And the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
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