My mother was born in the former Soviet Union. The communist government at that time was not allowing people to practice any religion. Those caught were ridiculed at best, imprisoned at worst. Praying was enough to get fired from a job and kicked out of a University. My mother did not practice any religion. She passed a test in an atheism class to prove that there was no God.
My mother graduated from a prestigious University,
got married and had a baby, my brother. Soon I was born… dead. I was not breathing, my heart was not beating, my skin was blue. Doctors did what they could to bring me back to life and then just gave me to my mother… to hold a daughter she’d never have.
My mother did not pray. She did not know how. She just held me in her arms, giving me all the love she had for the daughter she would not watch grow up, not dress in beautiful skirts, not sing lullabies, not braid her hair, not play dolls with her. With me. She was pouring her love from her heart to mine. She did not expect a miracle. But it happened. I opened my eyes. I did not scream. I did not cry. I opened my eyes and looked at her. She said I looked at her like an adult, with wisdom, with understanding. Her love brought me back to life. And what a life it would be.