Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Colombia 9: Goodbye

My last day in Cali. I spend the morning with Mom, Maria, and Lycett while Dan and Dad go to church. I give Mom's helpers little gifts: lotions, scarves, and chocolates I brought from the States. It's apparent the tokens are woefully inadequate, and when they are accepted with kind gratitude, I cry. How am I to live like this, with my parents so very far away?
Sara, a schoolmate from Bolivar, takes me to meet others from our class for lunch. It's a welcome distraction, and we have a wonderful time. The food is delicious, the memories are alive, the jokes are light and fun. I had worried it would be uncomfortable -- too much time has passed -- but the connection I feel is enlivening. I've never been to a class reunion, and this must be what  I've missed: a shared feeling that a piece of our history is not gone, but lives on in a new way.
Another visit, to family friends who have known me since I was two is filled with laughter and catching up. "Aunt" Loraine is from a small town in Alabama and she married a Colombian, "Uncle" Simeon. They've lived in Cali for decades, through good times and bad. They both are contending with health issues now, but they are as energetic and entertaining as always. It's amazing to see them thriving, discussing chemotherapy like it's an unruly pet.
Dan and I go to a popular Panini hangout to swap soccer stickers and mix with CaleƱos. I like helping others get the stickers they need and sharing their enthusiasm about a soccer player from Cameroon, but I'm antsy to go home. I'm well aware that my time with Mom is slipping away as I stand out here studying a man people say survived the plane crash of 1995.
Finally home, Mom, Dad, Dan, and I spend the evening together watching Spanish television. Dan and I have a few presents for Mom, and then it's time for bed. As much as I don't want tonight to end, we all need sleep. 5 am is departure time. I give Mom a hug but don't say goodbye. I'll save that for tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment