Friday, January 21, 2011

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning

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This morning, Friday the 21st, I woke up this morning and did not want to get out of bed.  I laid there feeling blah, feeling down, feeling like something was wrong but not sure what.  I even wondered "am I sick?"  "Do I not feel well?"  It wasn't that.  I even thought, "it's the beginning of the weekend, I should feel good."  But I didn't.  But I got up anyway.

The feeling passed, mostly, and I had a very productive day.  Still trying to arrange things (i.e.: find things!) after my six-month absence.  Created a new schedule for the dorm now that school has started, sorted out a bag of donated clothes for the boys, reacquainted myself with what was in various cupboards and the shed, etc.

One of my boys, Mito, is sick and so he stayed home from school, so he spent the day on my couch.  Poor little guy, but he is feeling better.  In the afternoon, the boys went to the beach and I absolutely LOVE that time, when I am in my own home, alone, for a couple hours of peace and quiet (cuz even Mito was sleeping!).  When you live with around 30+ small boys, it is never quiet!  So I love with they go to the beach.  I carried on with my organizing and then made curried lentils for dinner.

All in all, a very average day. 

And then, around 6, I sat down.  And suddenly realized, that on many weekends of the last couple years, at this time, I would be looking at the clock, wondering where on the road Pedro was and what time he would be getting here, trying not to worry, knowing the roads are full at that hour.  And when he finally arrived, to shouts of "Mano Pedro!" from the boys, we would both give each other a huge hug, with huge grins, and I would breathe a sigh of relief that he made it here safely.  And once again, I would feel my world was complete.

That's when I realized why I hadn't wanted to get out of bed this morning.  What wasn't right.  And I thought back and realized I have felt this way each weekend since I've returned.  I finally put it together.  Although I had several years of him living here with me, and I didn't only see him on the weekends, that was the majority of the time we've spent together over the last couple years.  And I absolutely LOVED having him here with me.

And I will never have him here with me again.  It has broken my heart all over again, as it does on most days.

On a normal weekend, after he would arrive, I would encourage him to eat with the boys, while I was finishing up cooking what would be his second dinner.  He always had a first and second breakfast, lunch and dinner when he was here, once with the boys, once with me!  Then after dinner, he would usually help the Tias set up a movie for the boys, and if the DVD or VCR was on the blink, he would fix it.  He could fix anything.  He was considering owning a shop one day, doing repairs - he would have been great at it.

Christmas 2008 258

 

Meanwhile, all his friends of his age, who no longer live in this dorm, would make their way over to see their beloved friend.  He was so well-loved, by kids and adults alike. 

This is just one photo with a couple dear friends who came to play with him - I could fill up this post just with photos of him with his friends who would come to hang out with him!

 

October 2009 017Then he'd come in and we'd play a game - yahtzee or backgammon or hand and foot or Sequence or rummikub - and he'd say "I'm going to win!" and I'd say, "If you win, you will not eat breakfast tomorrow!" and he'd say, "ahh, no, Mama, I will win and you will give me breakfast!"  And then if something good happened in a game, especially if he got a yahtzee, he would say "I told you, I am going to win!"  And he often would win!  And I never held anything back (except the wild cards in Sequence, I like to try and win without them).

Pedro and me croppedAfter we'd played for a bit, we would make popcorn - the real kind, in a pot, on the stove - and chat and catch up.  Then we'd play some more games and munch our popcorn and he'd ask for more salt and then lick the salt from the bottom of the bowl!  I like salt but yuck!

IMG_6279 Finally, we'd invite a few of my oldest boys to have a sleepover at the same time and he would fall asleep and I would just look at him and wish he were always with me.

 

Saturdays were always fun, pancakes or eggs and bacon for his second breakfast.  He learned how to make them all and he was always proudest if he could fry the egg without the yoke breaking!

Pedro's birthday 2010 051We would sometimes stay home and play games or he'd have his friends over and play in the garden on the trampoline or the bike or the pogo stick.  Or we'd go out somewhere, to the city or out to dinner or lunch, or the beach or the safari park.  And Saturday night would be a repeat of Friday night.

Sunday was always a bit sad because it's the day I would drive him home.  Sometimes I would invite friends of his along but often, I selfishly just wanted it to be him and me, talking about anything and everything.  We would usually listen to Elton John and his favorite was Saturday's All Right for Fighting and he would bang his head and try and sing the words along with me and Elton.  He always yelled for me to turn it up!  I gladly obliged as I love loud music in the car.  (although funny enough, not in the house - as a proper mom to a teenager, in the house, I was always saying, "please turn that down honey - I'm old!").  But in the car, I turn it up and we'd both sing at the top of our lungs.  I haven't listened to Elton John since. 

Then we'd arrive at his house and I would pray for him and he would pray for me.  And I would drive the hour home, feeling a bit sad and lonely and yet knowing, another weekend was just around the corner.  And that the next day, I would call him and he would say "Hello Mama . . ." and tell me about his day. 

 

   Park Excursion 001

I miss this darling, goofy, funny, happy, joyful, smart, kind, considerate, helpful, inquisitive, caring, loving boy of mine.

Yesterday was four months since he died and I still can't believe he's been gone from my life for that long.  And I find it incredibly difficult to absorb that he is gone from my life for good.  My life here on this earth anyway. 

So I realized why I hadn't wanted to get out of bed this morning.  And I had a break-down type of cry as my mind wandered thru the memories of weekends spent as I've just described. 

And I thanked God for the gift in my life that is Pedro.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Missing some boys who used to live here

Prague 2006 168 Prague 2006 184

That's Albano on the left and Joao on the right.  Both of those boys were reintegrated with their families.  Albano's family had thought he was dead and Joao's mom had no idea where or how he was.  So it was a great joy to see them reunited.  But I still miss them when I see their photo or think of them.  Many, many others have left as well, I just came across the photos of these two and thought I'd write about them.  Hey, I just noticed that even the boy in the background of the right side photo, Fernando, was reintegrated as well.  I pray these boys are doing well and thriving within their families.  I'm grateful for the time I had with them, the ability to pour into their lives as long as they were here with us. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sometimes boys are mean . . .

Then, hopefully, they feel badly afterward.

December 2010 004 December 2010 005

Day before yesterday, two of my boys were playing on the playground equipment and one wanted the other to do this, that or the other thing.  When he didn't respond quickly enough, the boy took Antonio's hand and arm in each hand and twisted, hard, in opposite directions.

Poor Antonio, his arm began to swell and he couldn't use it so we bundled him off to Central Hospital for x-rays and he came back with a cast!

The plus side?  He is twins with Mana Sharon, who broke her wrist on a fall on a wet and slippery night!  We think they should hang out together and between them, have a complete set of functioning arms!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

(Our Zimpeto New Year's Eve party!)

I want to wish each of my readers a wonderful new year, full of God's presence, peace, joy and love.  May you be encouraged this year in knowing God created you with a plan and purpose in mind and may this year be filled with great adventures of faith as you follow Him!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed, visited, written, given, encouraged or in any way invested in my ministry here with my boys in 2010.  I am blessed by you!  My boys' lives are changed by you - thank you!

Much love, Laura

PS:  Hey, I have a great New Year's Resolution for all of you - to come visit me in Mozambique!