In my heart of hearts, the main purpose of my trip to Guasave was to see my host family, and yet this made me the most nervous of all. When I stayed in their home twenty years ago, they treated me with a great amount of tolerance and kindness, but we did not always see eye to eye. In fact, I would dare say that I caused them a few headaches.
I never rebelled against my own parents, but for whatever reason known only to God, I rebelled against this poor family. Mostly we argued about my choice of friends.
Now that I'm a parent, I look back and I think how much they suffered to host me in their home for a solid year. I also think that they were extremely good and patient to deal with all the problems I caused.
As I returned to Guasave, I feared that they might not want to see me, but thankfully, my fears never materialized. They not only greeted me, they received my family with an open heart. We enjoyed a beautiful dinner together and shared experiences from the last twenty years. By the end of our visit, I was very happy.
We also had the chance to see their oldest son Mario Mauricio. He and I met only once over the Christmas holiday years ago, but I always remembered his kindness. At one point during that first Christmas, he drove me to a party with my friends. He asked me how things were going and I'm sad to say that I vented my frustrations to him about his parents. He listened to all my concerns and validated everything I said. But then he said that his parents cared deeply for me and that they did not dislike me, as I feared. He spoke to me in such a gentle, supportive way. I have never forgotten.
When he saw me again, he held out his arms and embraced me. In a very real way, I still felt part of his family. More than anything, I am so thankful I followed my heart back to Guasave to see this wonderful family again.