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Hug me! Now!

March 29, 2012


I held it together this morning until Prince Flomo came to see K and told her not to cry.  It was like my body went, “Oh!  I forgot we were doing that.”  I walked out on the porch with tears streaming down my face.  “I’m sad,” I announced to the kids.  “Hug me.”  They stopped and stared.  “Hug me!” I repeated.  Nothing.  “Grandpa, come here.”  He obeyed and I grabbed him.  He put his arms around my knees bashfully.  “Yada, your turn.”  Then Nya, Godgift, and Yana.

So many emotions are swirling through my mind I can hardly think of anything.  Creating a week’s worth of lesson plans for 11th grade took every scrap of my concentration.  I’m so glad to be going to Monrovia Sunday.  I need to get away.  I’ve been thinking that for months (I haven’t been south of Ganta since IST in late November).  It’s too bad it had to happen this way, though.  Oh god, it’s too bad.

Today was K’s last day at school so she said her goodbyes and I helped her take a million pictures.  Yesterday I watched her break the news to 11B with tears in her eyes and mine.  Morris slumped over and put his head in his lap.  Several students brushed away tears of their own.  “Is this really happening?!” all their faces said.  I couldn’t have agreed more.

But as hard as it was and is and will be it strengthened my resolve to stick it out.  These kids are counting on me.  They are why I came here.  They are the reason any of this happened.  I never thought I’d fall in love in Africa.  I never imagined life could be this good.

Tonight we went to Pelle’s office and watched Tangled, Krista’s favorite movie and something she’s been talking about since August.  “This is my favorite scene of any Disney movie ever,” she said.  The undiscovered princess sat in the boat with the unlikely hero waiting for the lanterns.  “I’m scared,” she says.  “I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life.  What if it isn’t what I expect?  Then again, what if it is?  Then what?”  The hero pauses to think, “Then you get to move on to a new dream.”

Three years ago I sat in my windowless office, slumped in my chair, staring at the photo I hung opposite my desk to look like a window.  If it had been a real window I would have climbed, jumped, repelled out of it.  “I just want to be happy,” I’d think, rubbing my forehead and biting my lip.  “This can’t be what was meant for my life.  There has been a mistake.”

I sit here in Liberia having found it.  Happiness exists, but you must trust and believe your heart.  It and it alone knows the truth path.  My heart glows and smiles.  Change is hard, but what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.  What is the next dream?  I’m not sure yet, but I move forward with confidence it’s something good.  Thank you to everyone who made this dream reality.  It was the combined effort of three continents.

“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” E.Y. Harburg

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 11:52 am

    Thanks again for this blog. It has been a window for me. Yes, we move from one dream to another. It is amazing how resilient we actually are! Much love to you!

  2. April 16, 2012 1:31 pm

    ❤ you B. You're a strong woman. And it takes a very strong woman to seek what she needs, even when it is something as simple as a hug.

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