Let me introduce you to Daniel Lora. He is one of the many children that touched my life while living in the Dominican Republic. I love his family. His mama, Daniela, invited me over for coffee on countless occasions. Daniela has a sweet, soft spoken and affectionate personality and so do her boys and husband. I could go for one of her hugs right now. I remember receiving this picture. I believe I was in my office when Daniel came in to say hello. He was probably in middle school at the time and said that he wanted to give me this photo.
Daniel is in high school now. I haven't lived there for five years come July. WOwsers.
His older brother is graduating this year and moving to Michigan to go to college this fall. I'm looking forward to seeing him.
This picture is from my surprise going away party that the mothers threw me... and this is kind of how I feel right now. Daniela is the one on the right in the second photo.
Now that I'm making a scene in the coffee shop and crying my face off I'll move on.
TREASURES 2,3,4 & 5I believe this entire series of drawings was made by my friend Ally, who was around 3 years old at the time. I loved that little girl with all of my heart. I would come home from work and hang out with her and we'd sit on the couch for hours. I'd take her with me to visit people in town. We'd walk to the river and play in the water. We'd hunt for guayabas. She called me "Selby" for the longest time.
When I said, "I love you Ally, do you love me?" She'd say, "I yuv anybody Selby."
I learned a lot from her.
We used to sing this song to each other...
This might very well be my favorite picture of all time...
It's interesting what our minds do with memories of the past. I often fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning thinking about days gone by. I sometimes see my time spent living in the Dominican Republic through rose colored glasses.
In reality, life then was probably not any more perfect than it is today. It's hard to believe though, when you look at this picture and think of that moment, that life was not perfect. For a moment though, I think it was indeed.
Somewhere on I-196 there's a billboard that says "relationships were meant to be long term."
Unfortunately, they are often broken.
Unfortunately, people make bad decisions and long term, suddenly becomes short term.
And sometimes you have no say in whether or not a relationship will continue.
A few years ago I lost many friends because of a few bad choices some other people made.
My friend Ally was one of them.
Nearly four years later I'm still trying to figure out how to appreciate the good memories and what I gained from those experiences and friendships instead of allowing someone's bad choices to completely taint my feelings about that time in my life and that place.
I'm trying to remember that in that place and in that time I felt love in a way that I never had before.
And I'm trying to remind myself that I'm feeling love in a way that I never have before...