Skip to main content

Leaving and Seeing

I wanted to write something poignant, something memorable, but nothing really comes to mind. I'll be leaving in just over an hour to begin my journey to Haiti. And that sounds so strange to me.

I always figured it would be Avery who would pack the bag, board the plane. It would be Avery that I would wait for weeks, maybe months for, until she would finally find the time to send word that she was okay. Her heart was always in Haiti.

When Avery was young she spent her days at Mary Jo's house. Mary Jo is an incredible woman who opened her home up for day care; except it was nothing like day care. It was a home. A family. Other kids became brothers and sisters. Papa Jim became surrogate grandfather. Mary Jo, just like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, taught children how to sing from their diaphragm and grow vegetables in the garden.

It always struck me that Mary Jo would run an incredible orphanage. She heaped love on children yet expected them to toe the line. Older children assisted younger ones when it was time to go outside: this taught compassion and kindness, as well as reinforced shoe-tying skills. Children set the table for lunch and cleared it. Meals began with prayer.

Avery learned her compassion for others through Mary Jo. I knew Avery would become the next Mary Jo. Gentle yet stern. Loving yet expecting. Mary Jo expected her children to be kind, to be patient, to be thoughtful. And, if they weren't that way, Mary Jo showed them by example what that looked like.

Kids grew up, went to school, moved on.

Not Avery. Avery wanted to stay. Forever. Sometimes I thought Avery would still be there through college, but that didn't happen.

I often thought of how Avery would do an incredible job heaping love on the children of Haiti, showing them kindness and compassion.

I can't wait to see how she's doing that now. Because, don't think for a second that Avery's not in Haiti. I have a feeling that's the first place she went after giving God the biggest hug ever. She's got her children there that need her.

And I'm about to go to Haiti to see for myself what Avery's been up to.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot







The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Seeing Avery All Grown Up

One day I'll tell you about the freezing cold we left and the heavy bags we lugged, full of supplies and medicines. I'll tell you about arriving in Port au Prince and walking across a cracked concrete parking lot to board an old school bus with a flat tire. How the heat was suffocating after months of below zero Wisconsin winter weather, how the people crowded and walked too close to moving traffic as we searched for a tire shop that was barely more than a couple men sitting on overturned 5-gallon buckets on the side of the road next to a pile of old tires, everything covered in dirt.

I'll tell you about waiting on the bus while they removed the tire and I'll recall the loud explosion that rocked the bus and scared the life out of me and how I was relieved to learn it was just the tire blowing after being filled too far. (They didn't have any gauges.) And then I'll tell you about the fear I felt when I realized we didn't have a tire and we were stuck on th…

When Your Imagined Life is Nothing Like This One

There were so many ways I imagined my adult life would be....THIS is not one of them.
I posted that on my Facebook wall last night. It might have been seen as funny except my choice of hashtags gave me away:
treading water getting nowhere piles of disappointment not many successes worn out and exhausted out of options

I always imagined my life would be thrilling. Full of exciting adventures and people from all over the world. I would dine at Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian restaurants. I would write books, teach English, coach forensics and direct the play. My husband would be charming and funny and not care about gender roles when it came to household chores. He would beg for at least six kids and I would fall in love with him all over again each time I caught him giving good life advice.
I would take photographs and travel the world documenting the people I came across. I would adopt a sibling group of three or maybe four and work on foster care policies because the ones we have aren't work…