Reality of Leaving
It is 5:30 in the morning. I got up 45 minutes ago and made my way through the dark with a cup of steaming coffee, past the homes of the older girls, all still sleeping, to Casa Suyapa.
Today, February 3, is the day of Honduras’s patron saint, The Virgin of Suyapa. During this year, I have learned that Hondurans like to celebrate things by getting up early, singing, and setting off fireworks. So we got up.
The Padre was there and after we sang, gathered around a lit image of The Virgin of Suyapa, the sky black and full of stars, he read us the Biblical account of Jesus turning water into wine. In the story, it is Mary who tells the people at the wedding, Do what he says. Even though some of us may have lost our mothers, the Padre went on to say, Mary is our mother. She cares for us and prays for us until we are reunited with our earthly mothers.
There were no fireworks this time and the children are now back in bed. I should be, too, but I am not sure if I can sleep. Standing there with those beautiful children, children who have been mine, or have felt like mine this year, I felt like a mother. And how does a mother leave her children?
Well, I am leaving. Whether I like it or not. These last days have been the fastest days of my life. Every one gets harder because it brings me closer to that moment we all will stand at Mass and say goodbye and then get in a van and leave.
Every day, I understand the reality of leaving more and more. Yet, I barely understand it. It is only in moments like this, standing in the courtyard of Casa Suyapa, with my arms around Marisol, that I get these flashes of exactly how much it will hurt to wake up underneath my down comforter instead of this scratchy, thin blanket.