So yesterday was my dad's birthday. Ironically, he appeared in a dream last night. I'll tell about that and some thoughts surrounding it, but first, let me update on a few things:
1. Wildolf has a motorcycle and seems to be diligently moto taxiing. So at least that part of the plan has come out and he is working. I try to give him the cold shoulder and encourage him to stay away because I don't think he deserves the trust after the violence he displayed, but that is good that he is working.
2. Two sister nurses, Jennifer and Rachel, gave us a nebulizer for Elisenia, as well as a stroller. They think she has asthma and that is the reason for her constant respiratory problems. They also gave us lots of albuterol and steroids to put in the nebulizer. Adeline puts her on it each night and says it makes her sleep much better.
3. Everything else is going well. We have Amanda, a Peace Corps volunteer who joined us in December, and is helping out with the art shop. And Michelle, my "assistant" who came on board in Jan., helping out with volunteer recruitment, sponsorships, everything and anything. They are great and I'm so glad to have them here, as well as all of our local staff and the kids... I feel very grateful.
So in my dream, my dad just appeared right on the shore. I didn't see anything else but the sand and the ocean and him. He didn't have a beard but had his mustache and a big smile and beautiful kind eyes. He wore his red flannel button up shirt and we hugged and I felt so relieved to see him. I asked him where he had gone and he said he had gone to the beach so that he could breathe better. He was healthy. He looked good. That is all I remember except that we got to spend some time together.
I don't know what came over me today. I just am finding myself unable to shake off tears. So I decided I better write about it. I have been strong. I am focused and every event that comes to knock me off focus, I don't let it. I also grew to have a very hard heart. In the U.S., I played with kids and encouraged them and cuddled them. Here, I have learned to yell at kids and keep them in line and care for their needs while not let them take advantage of me. I have also experienced a hard life (partly by choice), and my heart grew hard. I have mourned my dad, but today I feel like the sorrow is as fresh as ever. It feels like my soft heart has come back. And I miss him.
It just makes me think how no one.. absolutely no one.. can replace your daddy. And no one can replace your mommy. And that is the position I am in for Yenilove and Junior. Trying to replace their mommy. Something that can't be done. Hard stuff. But what a beautiful bond. I'll never forget when we first visited Jireste's family in Haiti. (I'm going to start writing Jeres because that is his middle name on his birth certificate, so it's where the name he goes by comes from, and it looks more how it sounds.) We met his brother in town and then traveled down the long gravel road with him to where his family lives. We first made it to his gradmother's house... a mud house with a thatch roof in a yard surrounded by prickly bushes. She led us into the doorway where his cousin, aunt, and a few others crowded around. She hugged him and looked at him and said, "He looks like Christo," his dad. She immediately started bawling and his aunt started bawling and they cried and exclaimed about how much they miss Christo. And Jeres hung his head and sobbed. And I teared up. It was so beautiful. It was so honoring. His brother must've been through this before because he didn't seem anything but annoyed and repeated, "You should be happy to see Jeres. It's not when you see him that you should cry."
Ilayas came and found me crying this afternoon and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I missed my daddy. We had a talk about this a few weeks ago and I tried to explain to him what had happened to my daddy. I know it's heavy stuff for a 4-year-old, but it's part of life, and I didn't want to lie to him. I laughed, too, both times when he saw me crying, so he would know that although I'm sad, it's all okay. He said, "You need a nice daddy who won't leave." I explained to him how my daddy was so nice and would never leave if he could help it, (and thought about how much I wished he and Maraya could know him, but no use in thinking about that. I also wished I could apologize to my dad for not physically being there for him.) I told Ilayas that God is the nice daddy who won't ever leave us.
Here is the post I wrote when he first passed away. Love you forever, Daddy.