Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of Story {Day 8} I Remember

I remember Cheecos and sugar cane.
I remember bare feet on rocky soil
I remember dominos, Touche Wouj {Tag RED}, and climbing to the top of the flamboyant tree.

I remember the time we hiked to go see the Gwo Krapo {The Big Frog} at the urging of Marcos, and since you never saw frogs in Port-au-Prince, we were delighted, only to find out it was only a ceramic one at the side of the pool.  I remember being so mad that he fooled us, yet so proud upon our return that we had hiked farther that day than ever before.

I remember rice and beans, du riz avec sauce pour {rice with beans sauce}, and pomme de terre frites{fried plantain}.  I remember how I would eat dinner with my friends and then eat dinner again with my family, without my mother's knowledge. It never occurred to me to tell her cause it would have been rude to say, "No."

I remember how Faniel and I would be "mother" and "father" to his four little brothers and my little sister and make them have nap time on the tile balcony, close to my mother's watchful eye.

I remember playing Barbies in the plastic American playhouse inside and then building our Barbies a pool out of concrete outside that Dad gave us because we watched the masons do it so we thought we could build too.

I remember my sister and I escaping the heat by filling up the HUGE metal pot and squeezing ourselves together into it with just our heads sticking out. We did not need a "real" pool. Our delight was full in that moment just as if it had been six feet deep.

I remember hours lost in worlds far, far away, adventures taken without leaving the island, heart breaks felt, relationships experienced, life lived all with my face in the pages of print. I tucked myself in any nook and cranny and dove deep, drinking of the mystery and suspense I might find there.

I remember growing up on that rooftop from the first boy that broke my heart, to the first time I dreamed of the man I would spend my life with looking up at that same sky, wherever he might be at that moment, to the innocent childish prayers that transformed into adolescent and then womanhood passion poured out to a Savior.

I remember saying goodbye. So many goodbyes. I have no memories preceding a life where goodbye was not a part. I remember always leaving someone that I loved wherever I went. I remember the lumps in my throat and the aches in my heart. I remember hating packing and airports and even the beginning of September because that meant it was time to leave again.

I remember a lot of hellos too. People were often happy to see us. You knew how much you were missed. How much you were loved. People said it more. You learned to say it more because those moments were a gift ... and fleeting. And tomorrow is never promised.

And oh, how I remember the letters. The lists I would make of who I wrote and when and when I heard a reply. I remember living for mail day, long before e-mails and computers and Skype and phone calls made oceans seems like nothing.

And I remember more.
So much more.

Video games on Nintendo, and then...on a massive computer, now considered a dinosaur. Monopoly on the balcony during electric blackouts. Blackouts that were a regular part of our routine. Homework by flashlight. Or maybe a book under the covers instead.

I remember gunfire. Coup d'etats. Curfews. Bomb threats. School cancellations and unplanned home schooling necessary to ensure safety and protection. Multiple locked gates. Barbed wire and broken glass upon the walls. All to keep out threats. To protect from potential dangers.

I remember friendships that would come and go as life changed for every family so quickly. I remember missionary Thanksgivings and missionary flight service, Agape, picnics with special treats like apples and ice cream and Snickers bars.

I remember being different no matter what country I was in. In one, I wore a different color on my skin. In another, I carried a different language on my tongue. And my world view matched neither.

Sometimes people ask me, "What was your life like growing up in Haiti?" I often pause and wonder how to answer. The other day the man asked and then followed up with, "I guess you did not know any other way."

And I did not.
It was the life I was born into.
For better or worse
Depending on the day you asked me.

We are called third culture kids. Those who live in an environment or culture unique to their parents. But I think maybe I would call it ... being a part of a magical world where the colors of the universe around you are seen through eyes too-old-for-their-time. Maybe even like a fairy trying to live in the real world all the while knowing secrets that she cannot find the words to share.

It is beautiful and lonely.
Exceptional yet isolating.

And I knew nothing else.
No other normal.

I would not trade it for anything.
Or have it any other way.

I remember understanding poverty and giving and serving from the time I was seven or eight years old. I remember learning how to pray and to sing and to tell people about Jesus when I was only a toddler.
I remember traveling the countryside watching my parents preach and teach the gospel.
I remember seeing Jesus, in real life, through the way they listened to people's sorrows and problems and ailments.
I remember understanding how much we had to be thankful for. How little some people actually have.
I remember learning how to thank God for that and not to feel guilty but to give and to serve and to be thankful for His blessings.
I remember learning how to laugh in the midst of the storm, to sing a new song even when it did not make sense.

And as the little missionary girl trying to live this grown up life,
I am thankful...
as I remember....

Want to read the entire 31 days of story?
If you do not want to miss even ONE day, please subscribe 
at the top of this post by entering your email address.

Also linking up with these beautiful communities:
 The RunaMuck, The Soli Deo Gloria party
In, On, and Around Monday, and Just Write.


Beverly Brumbley said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, my goodness, Lyns....with tears flowing, I remember, too! Thank you for all the memories written about today!!

Marina Bromley said... Best Blogger Tips

How lovely your story is here. Missionary Care is my passion - my God gifting. The church that uncovered that in me born a ministry in Haiti - SonLight Christian Ministries...on the north. They partnered with Hands And Feet in other places. They supported works in North Africa, Zambia, and with the Massai in Kenya, and with the Indians in South Dakota. They planted churches in Japan, and in SE Asia, and India. I loved on those third culture kids, on the shores of N. Africa, in the offices at the church. Loved on those momma's who didn't have the strength to say good-bye any more. They were so tired of explaining that "home" was not the country that issued their passport, but the place they dreamed of no matter where they slept.
I'm glad you remember. Even the hard parts. You are able to plant seeds in so many others, to give them hope that their kids will survive. That the grandparents will survive. Until the whole world knows... <3

Grandma said... Best Blogger Tips

Love reading about your life and also remembering many of the things you write about .I smile as I remember.

Kasi said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Sister! The beautiful and sorrowful memories all blended into our amazing childhood! You brought so many of then to life in this post! Love it!

Gianna Rae French Kordatzky said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! This is powerful! You are a beautiful writer. I am participating in 31 days, too--Mine is 31 days of funny.

I love how your passion for Jesus' truth and love was planted deeply into your heart and yet how you claimed it as your own. Missionary kids have always lived a full life and have seen so much more than many others. They understand that their experience and perspective is just that. Perspective and they are less likely to demand change as to live love.
Thank you for your words.

Allison said... Best Blogger Tips

This is hauntingly beautiful. Found you through therunamuck, so glad I did :)

Amber@Composing Hope said... Best Blogger Tips

This is fantastic. I can relate, yet our stories are so completely different. Thank you for this! Visiting from Amber's.

Annie | said... Best Blogger Tips

Lindsey, I love this glimpse into your childhood, your formative years. I love the remembering, and the telling. It is a good thing.

Erin said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh my, I can relate.
Especially the sentence "It never occurred to me to tell her cause it
would have been rude to say, "No."" I still have to remind myself that
in the western world it's ok to say no :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails