I learned to pray by example.

Mom starts her day by opening the curtains, turning on the radio, and then uttering a rapid prayer while burning incense. She sets the joss sticks on the family altar and goes to the bathroom to freshen herself up. It’s habitual — even on her most troubled days, I have never ever seen her break from this routine. I know mom prays for me specifically, but not much else. I can’t even imagine what her conversations to God or our ancestors are like.

Mom always made me feel that I was protected by something greater and bigger. She said that as the only son, and the youngest, our ancestors were invested in making sure I had a long and prosperous life.

I prayed first when I started to do poorly in class. I prayed to God that please, may I find it within myself…

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