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All My Love

March 26, 2012

Just when you think your feet have found the ground life has a way of pulling the rug out from under you and knocking you back on your ass.  “Marry Me” came on Radio Nimba and I ran outside.  “Gentlemen,” I said to Grandpa and Yada, “We must dance,” tears streaming down my face.  This is my absolute favorite song right now and soon I’ll be dancing to it all alone or at least without my favorite partner.

Yesterday morning, tears streaming down her own face, Krista told me she’s going back to America.  She needs to be with her family.

It hit me like a rock from behind.  I always knew I’d lose the other people (not that that’s made things any easier) but Krista… I thought I’d always have her, like a real sister she’d never leave me.  I know she needs to go.  I support her going what best for her, but nothing will be the same.  No one will say “dat poo-poo der” on the walk to school.  No one will smile conspiratorially when I mumble, “Get away from me,” at pekings.  No one will watch my back while I mirror dance at the club.  No one will do the “Chop my Money” dance in the street with me, honestly judge my cooking, or come to the rescue when bats fall out of the bathroom ceiling.  I’ll carry her down to Monrovia next week and say goodbye to my entire Sanniquellie.

Sure I love my students, my neighbors, all my friends in the market, but my two best friends on the entire continent are both leaving in opposite directions.  I know I’ll be ok.  I know I’ll cry the first few weeks, hiding behind my sunglasses, but a new routine will gradually develop.  The kids and the students will carry me through, the hugs, the smiles, the sticky hands and open hearts.

Saturday I sat on the porch teaching Grandpa how to play Slap Jack and he was making it very hard to let him win.  “RB, your card is very small,” he’d say bashfully and hand me some of his.  I think he was embarrassed for me that I was losing my own game.  He will carry me through this.  George, Festus, Fredrick, and Emmanuel will carry me through this as we continue the race to the WAEC.

My heart overflows with gratitude for the joy, the light, the laughter my friends have brought to my life the past eight months.  I would not trade those days for anything.  The past few years have been full of so many tears and painful decisions, but they have helped me find my happiness, myself, again.  As they both attempt to return to their lives pre-Liberia I wish them everything they’ve given me plus interest.  I will carry them both in my heart forever.

The traveling party is shrinking but the journey continues.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Catherine permalink
    April 13, 2012 3:08 pm

    ❤ ❤ ❤

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