Write for five minutes. Then share over @thegypsymama.
The word this week is she.
She was born during the depression. Her parents were very poor and had 4 other girls to feed. She got sent away to live with an uncle who had the ability to feed her. She thought her parents loved her, but being sent away feels like abandonment no matter what you tell yourself.
When she came home, she lived with her family in a rundown house. She had no indoor plumbing until she was a teenager.
Her father was a frightening figure, prone to drunkeness. He wasn’t a happy drunk, threatening to explode at every turn. She was strong willed and defiant, not willing to let him push her around while her mother would look on.
She had an instinct to protect the ones she loved, taking care of her sisters, buying them gifts.
She married young to escape her father’s house. She said, If I don’t get married now, I might kill him.
When I ask about her childhood, she laughs about it. But this childhood shaped her. She raised 3 children of her own based on what she learned. She didn’t do a perfect job, but she did the best she could. She was not particularly affectionate, but she took care of her children very well. She didn’t harm her children the way she was harmed as a child. And that’s so worth something.
She is my mother.
Three flights and a little more than 24 hours later, I am back on the beautiful big white ship I call my home! What a relief to arrive. What a miracle to have all my stuff arrive with me at the same time!
Lufthansa was a dream to fly with. The crew were very professional and friendly. The planes were very comfortable as far as planes go. I had the pleasure of sitting in the emergency row on the first leg and the bulkhead on the second leg. More leg room than I’ve had in a long time, but I’m really looking forward to sleeping in a bed tonight.
Going through customs and immigration was surprisingly smooth on both ends. The only small blip was in the form of a customs agent here in Congo wanting to search the Mercy Ships bag of medical supplies. Once the woman realized what I was carrying and who I was carrying it for, she smiled and said, Mercy Ships! No problem. You may go.
On the other side of the exit, I was greeted by two ladies from the ship. We picked up two other crew members and made our way back to the ship in the dark African night. I’m looking forward to seeing Congo in the daylight tomorrow.
When we arrived back to the ship, we were held up briefly at the gate because we didn’t have ID. After checking our passports with the list, we were cordially welcomed and let inside.
The people here seem to be very open and friendly. I think it’s going to be a really good year! Thanks for all your prayers and support!
I’ve been home now for 24 hours. Things are great, weird, but great. I don’t know exactly how to describe the way I feel. On the one hand, I’m so happy to be with my family, but I’m following my Mercy Ships friends on Facebook as they prepare to leave the Canary Islands for the voyage to the Congo and I wish I were there too.
I’m caught between two worlds. I love my family and friends here in the USA. But I’m not the same. It seems like the longer I’m away from them, the farther away my heart is as well. Does any of this make sense? My family loves me and supports me, but they don’t ask about my life, probably because I tell them everything happening via the telephone and newsletters. It’s just weird.
I’m really looking forward to Saturday. Galen is coming up from Florida for a week with me and his brother. Three amigos together again. 😄 Robert is already planning what we can do in the way of hikes in the Pocono mountains. I can’t wait. Since Galen came back from Haiti, he gets it, the weird disconnect from everything American culture.
I’m filled with a surreal angst I don’t know how to handle. Or maybe it’s jet lag?