Sunday, May 1, 2011
My breathing stopped. All the sounds around me were muffled and all I could hear was my breathing and my heartbeat. Not going back. I felt water spring in my eyes as I thought about when I left Carmencita. Her crooked little eyes searched mine, and I held her close saying, "Hasta luego."
I was sure that luego would be soon. If not the next day, then three days later.
Not going back. I told Carmencita luego.
I did my best to reach my mattress in the corner of a room before crumpling onto it and sobbing quietly. I always cry silently, or try to at least, so I won't attract attention. I don't like being the one who cries over trivial things.
I'm sure that gallons of tears leaked down my cheeks as I thought about how I was letting down Carmencita. What did this say about her worth to me? To the team? That I didn't consider her worth seeing again. That we wouldn't go to the orphanage just to love them. Oh, no. We could only go to the orphanage if we had a job to get done.
I was angry. Very angry. I felt so hurt, so betrayed. By the leaders of my team. I felt they had manipulated this trip into something it was not intended to be. And I was frustrated that they had taken over when all throughout the process, they had insisted that it was student-led.
I was furious at my other team members. That when given the chance to change the leader's plans, they all agreed not go to the orphanage again. Whether by pressure, or guilt, or what. It didn't matter. I couldn't believe it.
I wrote Carmencita this letter that night:
I wish I could see you. I wish I could show you how much I love you, and how much God loves you. I wish I could spend every single day getting to know you and serve you. I wish I could wipe away every single tear you cry. I know that spending time with other people is important, but I would so much rather spend time with you. I feel that by spending time with the other groups, I'm saying that they're worth more to me than you. They're not. I love you. I love you as much as I love my mom, my dad, my brothers, my sister. You are my little sister. I would give anything to be able to hold you and love you every day. You mean so much to me, and I am so, so, so sorry that "hasta luego" will be later than we thought. Thinking of you always
Su amiga (that's what she calls me)
Months later, now, I thought that I would have some resolution. That I would look back and feel like not going back to the orphanage had been the right thing. But I don't. I still feel confused. I still feel angry. I still feel like we left something unaccomplished. I thought this would be resolved in me by now, but it's not. I still feel like not going back to the orphanage wasn't right. There hasn't been a magic revelation of how God worked through us not going back.
And I can't decide if it's because I'm holding on to this too hard and I shouldn't, or because not returning to the orphanage was going against God's will. I hope He will provide me with clarity soon, whatever the answer.