This afternoon sisters were over at church with the girls preparing the decorations for tomorrow’s First Communion.
I was stationed there finishing up the entrance mural, while the girls left in the house pecked away at their ropa and limpieza and verdura so they could go join the little girls watching TV.
And I thought about the peace that has come over me in this past month preparing to leave. I’ve felt oddly calm leaving my responsibilities in other hands, while my own are busy painting and painting away the murals in the playroom and out front.
I ran up to the house this afternoon a few times, in search of sweets. And remembered again in the middle of it all why it will be so hard to leave–because here, I have found another family. I don’t know when it happened, but I know well that I am more than just a “volunteer” here. I have found friendship in the sisters, loving, trusting relationships with the girls. Last night as I picked up Cristabel, a new little one, I realized a deepening affection I had for her too. And there was that moment yesterday after dinner, as Roxana looked up with big eyes, “Lave me plato, puedo ver tele?” (I washed my plate, can I go watch TV?) And then her excited smile, zipping off like a cartoon figure, squealing with delight to go watch whatever those little ones were into.
It still catches me by surprise, again and again, how very much I am in love with this place, with my family here, with these girls.
That peace, I know it comes from the simple things, the moments when I witness the girls taking care of so much, so excited to help around the house. In competition to go ring the bell, to help me serve dinner, to supervise the little ones’ limpiezas, help with the other girls’ homework, get their younger counterparts showered up. Even 6 year old Jharlet is there tucking 4 year old Cristabel into bed.
Last night Hermana Leti ran in with a big bag of anticucho, what a gran invitacion that was. And tonight, returning from church decorating, Luli brought back the remainder of a big bottle of CocaCola, which she handed over to me, three little plastic cups perched on top. I don’t know why, but that will always be so delightful to me, the sharing of everything that happens–three cups, surely used by at least ten people.
And I simply felt loved. Because yes, they do love me so well.
The fear, the pain of it, the feeling of my heart being squeezed, has begun to set in. And it all feels impossible, impossible that this could end. But I know it will. I’ll be the same Megan I am today, in the airport back at O’Hare, hugging Dad and lugging my suitcases into the November air.
And I will be oh so very glad for all that has come to pass in-between.