Sunday, January 03, 2010

La Familia

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.

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