Did That Really Just Happen To Me? (for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop)

Writing Prompt: Share one of your “did that really just happen to me” life moments.

I Missed WHO??!!

It was the spring of 1999. I was backpacking around the UK and Europe with a friend from university, as well as some other friends who joined up with us in different countries. We had just graduated the year before, were gainfully employed, and decided to spend five weeks seeing another part of the world. We saw many notable sites including Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, remains of the Berlin Wall, and the Roman Colosseum.


It was an incredible and unforgettable experience. One day, while in Rome, Italy, my friend and I decided to go to the Vatican to take a look around. And it did not disappoint. However, something strange happened when we were inside St. Peter’s Basilica: we had only been there for about five or ten minutes, and had only seen a little bit of the inside, when we were shooed out. We had no idea what was going on, but we weren’t about to argue with anyone there about being told to leave. Not with the several “interesting” incidents we had in the country. (Perhaps that will be a topic of another blog!) So we left. We saw chairs set up outside in St. Peter’s Square, and a podium. I even took a picture.


That “set-up” should have been my clue that something big was happening. Nope. My friend and I made our way back to our hostel in Rome. It wasn’t until about an hour later – when another person whom we’d met at the hostel and had spent part of that day with returned – that we found out why we were shooed out and why St. Peter’s Square was transformed. The Pope had made an appearance. Right there. Where we had just been a little over an hour before. I’m not Catholic, but I knew about the Pope, obviously, and had even studied him and his trip to Canada in grade 5. And if I had stayed in St. Peter’s Square for another few minutes, I would have actually seen Pope John Paul II and heard him speak. But I didn’t. Did that really just happen to me?


2 thoughts on “Did That Really Just Happen To Me? (for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop)

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