Friday, June 11, 2010

Hope

I didn't get to sleep until 4:00 last night and I woke up at 7:00.
It started raining super hard after dinner, so some of us went and danced in it and swam around in the little pool thing in the courtyard. So fun. I then went into lauren kenady and heather's room and talked as usual (don't tell amy) until about 3:30.

I had to say my last goodbye this morning to the kids. I went over to the hostel before they went to school. Most of them didn't really understand why, but hugged me anyway. I left, went around the corner, and lost it.

As we drive away right now on the bus, I finally have a quiet chance to think about my time here.
I have two images in my mind that I'm sure will be there forever.
The first is my Naveen. Standing there waiting for me at play time the day he was sick. As I turned the corner, there he was at the end of the path. He could have been off playing with his friends, but instead he was there, waiting patiently for me to come pick him up. Seeing such a perfect face light up so much just to see you walk up. I have never felt such love. He wouldn't let me leave his side for the rest of the day, and I was happy to be there.
I don't know his story or his family, but wherever they are, I don't know how they're able to go every day without seeing their perfect child. And I'm sure that he misses them too. I hope though, that for the short time I was here, I was able to adequately satisfy his need for a father figure. I hope I was able to comfort him and give him joy. Because the joy that he gave me is beyond words. I'm sure that in a couple of days he will have moved on, and I know that he will always be his happy, perfect self. I hope though that he remembers me. I hope that he can have at least one memory of the love that we shared. Naveen, a perfect little indian boy with so much potential and hope, can add one more to the list of people that will love him forever.
The second image that has been with me is that of ____, the leprosy affected woman from the senior home at the first colony. She has lost everything because of this disease. She was once a successful, happy woman with a family that loved her, but the stigma that is still all around us here has taken it all from her. It almost makes me glad that she has dementia. Maybe it will keep her from remembering all the bs that she's been through, things that no human being deserves. But she knows. The sadness in her eyes makes it obvious. She knows what she's suffered.
As I sat there with her and wiped the constant stream of tears off of her cheeks and held her almost fingerless hands, I looked into her eyes, and tried my best express my love for her. I tried show her that she is worth something, that she is not alone. I sat there with a woman that had lost everything, including her mind, and I hope that to the best of my ability, I was able to make her feel like she was worth something.

As I sit here on this bus, leaving it all behind, I can't help but wonder, what if I had never come here? What if I had decided to stay home in my comfortable apartment in america. What an inconceivable thought. Missing out on this opportunity would have been the biggest mistake of my life. The people I've met, the experiences I've had, and the life lessons I've learned are locked in my heart, and they are the most important things I could ever own.

There are two things that i've learned here that stand out to me.
First is the understanding that no person is worthless, that everyone deserves a chance at joy and love. And what that then led me to is discovering what true love and beauty are. I can truly say that I found pure love and beauty, inside and out, in the indian people.






Listen to: Comes and Goes (in waves), by greg laswell. Such a perfect fit for this trip.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! You are an amazing writer!!!

    ReplyDelete