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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Ash Wednesday, is the start of the Holidays in the coming Lent celebration for the Catholics. Ashes are being placed in to the forehead of the churchgoers to mark that they are not mortal and into dust they will be coming when they die.

One of my co-worker is a practicing Catholic and she is a Caucasian. She came in at work and the ash in her forehead is very visible. It is easy to check the markings if dark ashes with a white skin -- especially this person's skin is so pinkish and very white.

One of my co-worker was asking (let's call her Tina) Tina, why does she has those signs in her forehead. Tina kept on saying that this is the tradition that she has grown up with and ever since she could remember, so always goes to church on Ash Wednesday and the priest will put the ashes in her forhead.

Of course, one of the co-worker who belongs to a different religion keeps on pushing Tina to explain what is the reason for the ashes in the forehead.

So here I am, trying to salvage my friend Tina from this inquisitve fool, step into the conversation and explained why there are ashes on Tina's forehead.

I have to explain to this inquisitive man (let us call him Greg) Greg, that the ashes is a religious symbol and practice by the Catholics. The ashes came from the old palm leaves that was blessed last year on Palm Sunday. These are then burned and crused to make the desired ash, so it could be rub into the forehead of the believers and make a sign and markings. Likewise, I was explaining to Greg, that the sign of the ashes is also showing the mortality of the penitent, which is the Catholic believers who have made her/his way inside the church and offered her/his forehead to have the ashes placed into the forehead by the priest of designated lay minister.

Then Greg was asking me, how come the other co-worker of ours (let's call him David)said he is a professing Catholic and have just been in church to attend the Ash Wednesday service, does not have the ashes in his forehead.

I did not explain anymore to this stupid Greg anything.

Pero Auntie Patti Koh ---- Greg won't see the ashes in the forehead of David my other co-worker who is a practicing catholic, because he is an African American and the ashes could not really be noticed in this man's forehead.


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