Our Life at New Life

I think that I, hands down, teach some of the cutest and coolest kids in the world (or at least in the two countries in which I've taught!).

Joel and I have gone head to head and toe to toe more than once when he decides he decides it will be his way or the highway.  After finding himself on the highway a few times, he's become quite a compliant student.  This year I'm doing more "formal" evaluations, and have been pleasantly surprised by how much progress he's made.  There's no kid I love more.

Judy, named after Judy Kerschner, the founder and administrator of Nueva Vida, is another favorite.  When she first came to school two years ago, I could not enter her classroom because she would cry and hide in fear of the "gringa."  Now, she runs to my room to work, and never misses a hug.  

Many of our kids do not have apparent handicaps, but struggle with learning even basic concepts.  While the traditional way to teaching in Guatemala is paper and pencil, with a LOT of copying, these students need to use all their senses to learn.  Using activity based learning, concrete objects, and sight words are just some of the techniques we employ to access their learning styles and abilities.  

A few years ago when we started this, the teachers would say, "It's time to go and play with Seño Paty."  Now they are asking to borrow my materials and for suggestions of different ways to teach the kids who don't get it.  These are some of the best teachers I've ever worked with in my career.  They do so much with so few resources, but their creativity and commitment know no bounds.

We are privileged to have Saundra, a licensed school psychologist, working with us on a full-time basis.  She works individually with children and parents as well as runs groups for children.  Her expertise is sorely needed in this town with such high levels of poverty, abuse, violence and alcoholism.  Pray for Sandra as she deals with the most difficult situations we face.

One of our goals this school year was to teach the students to serve each other.  Below, you see a great example of this.  Yamelin, our blind student, is helped to come to my classroom by two of her friends, Macaria and Roxana.  It took a while for her to begin to trust them, but they have been patiently faithful in their desire to help her more more independently around the school building.  It is a blessing to watch them together.

You can see on their faces how proud they are to be serving their friend.

Other Developments in the Casa

Until I sit down to write and review the past few months, it doesn't seem like much is happening.  Maybe because it is all happening too fast.  But, looking through the pictures from the last couple of months, I see where we've grown.

Tony and Alberto in Central Park
Tony has joined our staff and brings his own style to care giving.  While very compassionate and kind, he has a strength and firmness in dealing with certain situations which we have needed.  As hard as it is for me to admit, in this culture a man's voice carries more weight than a woman's and I am grateful to have Tony lend me his voice when needed.  Of all the guys in the house, he does the best job, too, of taking care of me--often offering to wash the nightly dishes if I seem tired or am busy.  He also knows how to cook--a great plus when I'm away from the house evenings or weekends.

Miguel babysitting a friend's son while also caring for our guys
Miguel is our resident funny man, and I never know what will come out of his mouth.  He really wants to go to the University, but realizes he's not yet ready academically.  He spends his Sundays taking classes to prepare him for the entrance examination at the University of San Carlos.  This has been a struggle for him, first to recognize that he was academically lacking, and secondly, to take the initiative to find a way to fix this--all on his own.  I'm so very proud of him, and the example he gives Fidel and Alberto about determination in getting an education.  (With the diploma he has, he could easily get a job, but continues to hold fast to his dream of becoming a psychologist.)  He's also a great barber, and lends his talents to the household.

Miguel cutting Carlitos' hair--and he's not impressed.
Carlitos is the son of our housekeeper, Flor

Miguel wanted to try his hand a cutting women's hair
and offered to cut mine.  The whole time I was saying to myself:
"Relationship over appearance."
It turned out quite well, I think.

Alberto sitting in the doorway before he had his power chair
Alberto now fearlessly ventures out into the community with one of the companion care-givers.  He has taken on some simple household responsibilities, and brings his unique, dry sense of humor to the dinner table.  

Dick supervising Alberto's first venture into Antigua in his power chair
Fidel on Cerro de la Cruz
a high hill overlooking all of Antigua
Fidel has become our resident "callejero" or man of the street.  He even made it up to the top of Cerro de la Cruz, a high hill which overlooks all of Antigua.  (His chair did need a bit of work after this experience.  Thank you, Bethel Ministries for looking after it for us.  He loves to be out at Central Park in the early evening, and, while I have to admit I worry about him after dark, I respect his right to decided to do this.  And I trust our care-givers who go with him.

Carlin is living with us as he studies tourism at Valle Verde, a private school a few blocks away from here.  Both Cesar and Fernando decided to study in Chimaltenango this year, which made room for Carlin.  Carlin is a "big" guy in every way:  

  • from his size:he had to wait an extra month to get his uniform shirt because they didn't have one big enough to fit him!
  • to his appetite:  I have to admit he eats as much as both Cesar and Fernando did, and that's saying something
  • and most importantly, his huge heart:  He has been involved in mission trips within Guatemala and Nicaragua through his church youth group, and I can't help of think of him as a "gentle giant" when I see him caring for Fidel and Alberto.

We have made progress in our spiritual development as a household as well.  When Scott and Linda Hardee were here from Kansas City, they began a weekly Bible Study which we are trying to continue without them.  We are working on a system to be more intentional in praying for our partners, as well as trying to learn the Bible verses recommended weekly by our church family here in Antigua.  Most importantly, however, I find "spiritual topics"  becoming a regular part of our conversations around the table, and I am attempting to teach the guys to resolve conflict using Biblical principles.  (The hardest part of this is that it requires that I use these same principles both within our house and the community.  Quite a challenge sometimes when our cultures conflict!)

We are so grateful for all the ways God has blessed us since we opened as a household a little over a year ago.  Pray we remain faithful to his call on our lives.

Futbol (soccer) and Dessert

On Sunday afternoons the power has been out in Chimaltenango as the electric company does maintenance on some of its transformers.  Usually this is not a problem and people are pretty used to it.  This past Sunday, however, when Barcelona was playing Real Madrid in futbol (soccer to you North Americans) it really cramped the style of some of our guys.

Since we had power here in Antigua, my guys called some of their friends at home in Chimal and invited them to join us for the futbol game.  They happily accepted and were down here in short order.  Fortunately I had made chocolate chip banana bars for dessert today, and Dick supplied the ice cream.  The guys chipped in and bought a variety of chips and a couple bottles of pop, and soon my living room was transformed into a viewing room.

There was too much testosterone in one room for me to handle, so, after serving the dessert, I headed to my room to work on the computer.  I was surprised when Esbin knocked on the door to bring me a big glass of pop.  They didn't want me to feel left out though they couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to be glued to the set with them!

While Fidel doesn't care much about futbol on TV, he loves hanging
out with all the guys

I often joke that I'm the housemother in a Guatemalan frat house, and today really felt like this.  When I dreamed of a house such as Casa de Esperanza, I had hoped for times like these, where friends would come over to just visit the guys and do "guy" stuff with the residents.  I was such a joy to see this happening.

The Scholars of our Casa

This year, it seems at times that we are running a small school in our house, and, to some extent we are.

As you may know, last fall Alberto came to live with us from Peten.  When Dick met him, he had been living in a one room shack, spending all his time in bed because of osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease.  After numerous fractures, he was afraid to go out.  But, more than anything he wanted an education.  He could already read, but wanted a diploma to increase his chances that someday he could get meaningful work and contribute to his family.

Dick had brought him a power chair a couple of years ago, and Cesar had struck up a friendship with Alberto.  Finally, last summer, Cesar and Dick asked if I would consider accepting Alberto to live with us and go to school.  Dick found him a sponsor, and Alberto became our second permanent resident in December.

I began talking to different teachers about Alberto, but none seemed a good fit.  Since he could already read and write, I wanted someone who would work with him at his level, and not make him start everything at first grade.

Once again, God had it all provided.  Reynaldo, the brother of the director of Nueva Vida where I teach 3 days a week, had begun driving some of the teachers to work from their home more than an hour and a half away from Santa Maria.  It just so happened that Rey was a pastor and a licensed teacher.  It just so happened  that he had an interest in learning more about special ed. and wanted to work in my classroom to see what I was doing.  It just so happened that as we talked about the guys at the house, that he said he would be more than happy to come and work with Alberto.  Finally, it just so happened that since he comes from a family of educators (including his father and brother who are directors of adult education programs), he had the right connections to make sure Alberto would receive government credit for his studies. 

I so love it when things just “happen” by the providence and plan of Our Father!

So we began with Rey coming to the house a couple days a week, depending on his and our schedules. (His flexibility is such a plus.)  As he began to know the guys, it became apparent that he was here not just to teach Alberto but to disciple all the guys, residents and assistants.

When he got to know Fidel, he was amazed at his abilities.  He was also concerned that, while Fidel has taken computer classes and excelled, he had stopped his government approved education after primary school.  Without a “titulo” it is very difficult to get office type of jobs, even for able-bodied people.  For Fidel, his lack of a diploma would be more of a handicap than his wheelchair.

Fidel at his graduation last December, when he received
a diploma in graphic design
I had previously talked to Fidel about completing the equivalent of high school, and he wanted nothing to do with it.  Since he is an adult, I dropped it, and prayed that through experience he would come to want to complete his education.

Enter Rey.  Rey pulled no punches with Fidel when he talked to him about studying.  Still Fidel resisted.  I think Rey was frustrated with me for not forcing Fidel to do this, but, he is an adult. One of the reasons we started this house was to give our residents the ability to make decisions for themselves (and accept the consequences).

Here’s where our companion-caregivers, Miguel and Tony, come in.  They both have finished “carerra” and put a large amount of peer pressure on Fidel to complete his.  I stayed out of it, but after a few days, Fidel decided he wanted to give it a try!  This is exactly how I had hoped things such as this would be dealt with when I envisioned the house.  More and more, I can step into the background, and the guys handle even these somewhat “delicate” situations.  As Guatemalans, males, and role models, our staff can give direction in ways that I will never be able to. 

After a number of days of struggle getting the proper paperwork together (paperwork is always a struggle here!), Rey was able to enroll Fidel and he is officially in “primero basico” or seventh grade.
Rey hopes that by modifying the curriculum in three years Alberto will finish grade 6 and Fidel grade 12.  He is being very creative in using educational television and other resources to enrich their paper and pencil activities.

God has greatly blessed us with "Profe Rey."  To enable us to pay him for his time with Fidel, we need to find someone willing to sponsor Fidel's schooling for $50.  If you would like to help Fidel get his diploma, please email me and I'll send you more information on how you can help.

Clean water points to the Living Water

After spending a few days basically living with Karen’s family, both Dick and I have a strong prompting to help Pastor Miguel and his wife get there church back on its feet in whatever way we can.

First of all, Dick gifted the church with a Sawyer water filter which their family can use to share purified water not only with their church members, but with their neighbors who might otherwise never come near the church.    When we asked them if they would like a filter, they almost jumped for joy.  I have seen few families so enthusiastic about this gift.

We have learned that just indiscriminately handing out water filters does not work.  Unless people believe the need clean water and really want it, the filters are not used and often abused.  Sometimes it just seems like too much work.  Other times, some don’t believe it is their water that makes them sick.  Finally, and strangely to us, many don’t like the taste of clean water after years of drinking water filled with contaminants (which evidently give it a different flavor.  I haven’t tried it though!).

We have found that giving one filter to a strategic family, who will then share clean water with others has proven an effective way of introducing water filters into a community.  This family then keeps a record of who regularly comes for water, and we later give these families a filter and ask them to share the water with others.  And, thus, we build a network of families who encourage each other in maintaining and using their filters. 

The church, Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace), seemed a perfect place.  When we talked with the pastors about sharing the good news of Jesus as the Living Water with those who come for purified water, they were so enthusiastic, as well as hopeful that this will open doors to talk with more of those who live around them.  (Thanks to Pastor Mike Watkins, from Iglesia del Camino in Antigua for demonstrating this connection of water with Water for us.)

Though Hanz and his father were waiting for us in the car, we did basic training in use and care of the filter with them.  I discovered that, while the church had a well, there was no pump, and all the water needed to be pulled up by rope—usually by Pastora, who already has a hernia from carrying her daughter.  When I asked how much it would cost for a pump, they told me 250 quetzales, or roughly $32.  While not in our budget, I knew we needed to provide this to support the use of the filter, and Pastora could not have been more grateful.

Since the water was full of not just contaminants but actual dirt and particles of debris, Dick instructed them to first pour the water through a t-shirt to catch the large particles. 

He then demonstrated how to attach and use the filter.

Pastora was very pleased with the result.

And Pastor wanted to take a turn at practicing backwashing the filter to make sure he was doing it correctly.

We pray that this small tool will be used mightily by God to bring the people of Masagua to His Son.  I know the pastors will be doing their part!

In the future, we would love to be able to bring mission teams into this area to support Pastor Miguel and his congregation.  We have specifically talked with him about medical teams, or groups interested in doing children’s ministry with the children in his area.  I have also a strong desire to minister to the women of this village.  If you or your church or small group are interested in knowing more about what this would involve, please email me.


We recently stopped in unannounced to visit Pastor Miguel and his family on our way back from the coast.  We walked in to see  a full 5 gallon jug of water waiting to be picked up, and another that was being filtered for the lady who lives next to them.  (Pastora tells me she is a non-believer and somewhat difficult to live with, but they are hoping that by giving her water, she will experience a little bit of the love of Jesus.)  I can't begin to tell you how this blessed us after so many experiences where the filters are not used.  They currently have, in only a couple of weeks, six families (half of whom do not belong to the church) who come regularly for clean water. . .And a bit of the gospel!

Surgery in San Lucas

Every year our friend, Dr. Will Bogel brings down a team of foot, ankle and orthopedic surgeons to work for a week at the missionary hospital in San Lucas Toliman on Lake Atilan.  Last year we took Alma, a young girl who lives near here, for the first of two surgeries on her feet.  This year, we referred six patients, and three of them were candidates for surgery.

SuecSue, a maternal health nurse from Washington State, was our main contact and became a good friend.  She was just one of 21 remarkable medicos who donated a week to serve our people.

So, the last week in February we spent a lot of time one the road!
First, on the Friday before the surgeries, we went to San Lucas to bring two patients up to the hospital for pre-surgery evaluations the following day. 

Alma went with us again, and was so very excited about being able to walk after this surgery.
DSC05848cDick with Alma after her surgery in February, 2013


We also took Grevis, a little boy with dwarfism, whose legs are at odd angles, making it difficult for him to walk.


We had plans to meet a number of other patients, coming either from the coast or the Lake Atitlan area.  All of them made it except Karen, a darling little girl with spina bifida.  Dick had not been sure she was a good candidate for surgery, and we thought her parents had decided that they did not want to pursue this further.  I wish we had called! (More on this later.)

After the evaluation, Alma was accepted for surgery without reservation.  Grevis, however, was deemed too high a risk after his mother said he had had bleeding problems when he had a tooth pulled.
Joaquin, it was decided, needed to grow a bit more before it would be advisable to operate on him.  Hans would be coming back later in the week for the first of two surgeries.  It was decided, however, that to operate on Nathaniel, who has spina bidifda and no feeling in his legs, would be only cosmetic, and not worth the risk any surgery involves. 

We headed back home Saturday night, and I got to spend a short time with my guys before heading back to the Lake on Sunday.  (I have to share how well my guys manage without me, due in no small part to the competence of Miguel and Tony as companion care givers.  With as much as I was gone this week, even Fidel admitted that he missed me.  Awwww!)

We had to have our patients at the hospital at 7 am Monday, and neither Dick nor I had the desire to leave home at 3:30 am to get there. 

Actually, I had planned on going up only on Saturday, so I could teach this week.  God seemed to have other ideas, though.  For a number of reasons, I strongly felt I should go back.  While my translation skills were needed, I have to be honest.  Alma really wanted me to be there with her, and, since her mom had suddenly died recently, I was happy to take my friend Patricia’s place.  Alma’s brother and sister-in-law were would be with her, but they all said how I made them feel close to their mom again.  So I went.

Looking back, I had written last summer:
I’ve been wondering, lately, with the number of kids Dick is referring to Dr. Will as surgical candidates, if both he and I won’t be spending a week in February playing medical transport home from the hospital.

When we arrived at the hospital Monday morning, we were greeted by Karen, and her mom and dad.  They had not come Saturday because they did not have the money for bus fare, but had called the hospital Monday and were told, since she had already seen Dr. Will, they should bring her in and the staff would work her in if there were any cancellations.


As it turned out, there was an opening on Thursday, and Karen was scheduled.  We decided to put the family up at our hotel, rather than sending them home to have them return only a day later.  Alma’s brother and his sons were already staying with us (his wife would be staying at the hospital with Alma), so we had half the rooms in the small hotel filled.  (Brian, a worker from the Nebaj area, seemed to have taken up the other rooms with patients he had brought to the clinic!)

Though we had a lot of people to juggle, these two families ended up blessing us more than we ever could have blessed them.


As we watched Alma with her brother’s family, we could see that, when her mom died and her dad disappeared, they took her in not out of obligation, but out of a deep love for her.  It was so touching to watch them care for each other.  And they did what they could to care for us—buying us "treats” a number of times during the week.

Karen’s mom and dad are equally amazing.  When we met them, Pastor Miguel, her dad, was leading a church in Cuidad Quetzal, one of the most dangerous areas of Guatemala City.  Now they were in Masagua, near the Pacific Coast.  Pastor had been asked to take over a church that had been through an upheaval and was on the verge of closing.  Watching them with their daughter, and watching both Pastor and his wife minister to any number of people, from the parents of other patients, to the lady who worked at our hotel, was humbling. 

Pastor MiguelcPastor Miguel talking with one of the parents of another patient, sharing with them the love of Jesus, in word and action.

They don’t serve as pastors, they live as pastors.  They have a remarkable way of meeting people where they are at, and yet always managing to remind them that Jesus is there with them, pursuing them, whether they realize it or not!  I learned so much watching them.


Monday Alma had her surgery, and was released from the hospital on Tuesday morning. 


Before we took her home, we gave her a chance to rest at the hotel, and decided to take the families on a boat ride on the Lake.  We had a great time, even if we were a little soaked by the end of the trip.

We dropped off Karen’s family back to the hotel, picked up Alma and her sister-in-law, and drove them home to Supongo, near Chimal.  We each slept at our respective houses Monday night, and Dick and I turned right around and went back to the Lake in the morning.  We wanted to be there Tuesday afternoon, when Hanz and his dad arrived for his surgery on Wednesday morning.


Of all the kids we encountered at the hospital, Hanz was be far the most timid.  Dick had met him twice before, and still, Hanz refused to talk to him.  Hanz’s dad, too, was pretty reserved.  We were a bit concerned that they were feeling sort of “forced” into the surgery, and I asked Dad if he was sure he wanted to go ahead with the operation.  I got the strongest “yes” I have received from anyone to this question.  (I later discovered that his wife was strongly opposed to the surgery, and that this has been a real struggle for him.)

Hanz’s surgery went well, and though he was in a considerable amount of pain he was discharged Thursday.  We were trying to figure out how to get him home, and still be around for Karen when we found out that she would not be having surgery.  When she arrived at the hospital Thursday morning, it was discovered that she was, for no apparent reason, running a 104 degree temperature.  Of course, this meant no surgery.  Though they were disappointed, her parents easily accepted this as part of God’s plan saying “next year.”  Dick, who had been questioning the wisdom of her being operated on all along, seemed to be relieved.

So, once again, we loaded up the car, heading this time to the coastal area to take both of these families home.  We dropped off Karen and her parents first, and were able to gift them with a water filter and pump for their well before we left. (Click here to read more about this.)

Though they didn’t live far from each other as the crow flies, we had to back track a way to take Hanz home.  (There are so many places here in Guatemala that are the proverbial, “You can’t get there from here,”  or at least not in any way approximating a direct route.) It was well after dark when we left his remote, isolated village and headed back, tired and hot, to Esquintla, where we hoped to spend the night. 

The one decent hotel we knew was full, and, in the dark, it was impossible to locate another hotel.  As we talked, Dick suggested we head down to Puerto San José to spend the night on the ocean.  After such an emotionally intense week, we were both ready for some down time.


Since I had never been to Monterrico, the popular tourist area on the Pacific, Dick offered to take me there.  We found a beautiful hotel which allowed us to eat in the restaurant and spend a number of hours finishing up some computer work, while gazing at the Pacific Ocean.  After a pretty full week, it was exactly what I needed, and I returned home to my guys, refreshed and ready to face another week.

The Menace of Malnutrition, Part 2

Lisvi at home

In February of 2009, as I was considering my move to Guatemala, I met my first child with malnutrition.  Her name was Lisvi, a six year old who was starving, and she changed my life forever.  Reflecting on our meeting I wrote:

As I prayed on the plane coming home yesterday, God showed me that Lisvi did not need to meet me. I needed to meet Lisvi. I needed to willingly let my heart be touched, and wounded, and trust that He will give me everything I need to heal. I needed to learn again to risk letting my heart be touched, knowing it might be broken, but trusting it will heal. 

Five years later (is it really that long?) I still struggle when faced with malnutrition.  I fall back into feeling,  “Lord, I want to serve you but it hurts too much.”  And I still hear Him saying, “It’s not about you.”

I wish I could tell you that my first encounter with malnutrition, up close and personal, had a wonderful outcome.  But it didn’t.  Lisvi died about six weeks after I met her.  (Click here to read more of her story.)

I’ve spend many hours contemplating the “why?” of our meeting. 

Through Lisvi I began to learn that our ministry cannot be judged based on results.  We must measure our effectiveness by obedience to what God calls us to do; by serving the one He places in front of us at each moment; by faithfulness in the face of what looks like defeat; by our willingness to be broken by a broken world.

My recent experience with José has led me to spend time recalling the children with malnutrition who have touched me so deeply.  Thinking about how God has let us be part of what He is doing in these families.   Realizing how God has used them to grow me into who I am becoming.

Some of these children have recovered and gone home to not just survive but thrive.

JessicaJessica waiting to see the doctor before she was admitted to the malnutrition project at Hermano Pedro in September, 2012.

Dick met Jessica at a Hope Haven wheelchair distribution.  He called me to tell me he was on his way into Antigua with “Lisvi’s twin,” and could I meet them at Hermano Pedro.  My flesh cried out, “NO, not again.”  But I went in spite of my fear, and have been blessed beyond measure by this little one and her whole family.  She is back home and doing well.  It is a treat when we get to visit her, and she continues to grow, two years after her discharge from the malnutrition project.  Her family has become our family, and I am honored to be called her adopted “abuela” (grandmother).

IMG_1305This is Jessica and her mom when we visited them last January.

ValentinaValentina shortly after she was admitted to the malnutrition project.

100_1657_2cAnd little Valentina, who we just “happened” to meet when we were out visiting in Santa Rosa (the same area José comes from).  She came into the malnutrition project at a few weeks old, got “fattened up” and had surgery to correct her cleft lip.  She’s at home and continues to grow until she is old enough to receive her final surgery.  Valentina taught me that we must be willing to respond when the need presents itself. . .even if it’s inconvenient. . .even if we must change “our” plans to follow His plan.

Here she is, ready to go home.
What a little chub!

These seem like successes. . .at least by my worldly standards.

Others are not so clear.  Little José Antonio (also from Santa Rosa—are you seeing how poor this area is?) was in and out of malnutrition over the years.  A few months ago, after living at home for more than a year, he died suddenly. It sounds like he had some complications from a kidney problem.  He brought much joy to all who knew him---though he was seven, he looked like he was only about a year and a half old. Oh how he knew to use his cuteness to get what he wanted.  José Antonio teaches me how great an impact even a small child can have on so many people. He is greatly missed.

100_3013This is Leonel, shortly after I moved to Guatemala in 2010.

Then there is Leonel, who Dick brought into malnutrition before I even moved down here.  He grew stronger and healthier, and was moved down to the children’s unit at Hermano Pedro shortly after I moved here.  His parents just couldn’t care for him at home, though he was doing so well.  And now we watch him withering away once again.  This time not for lack of food, but we believe from loneliness.  Dick, especially, tries to see him whenever possible, but it’s just not the same as being with his family. 

DSC03285A more recent picture of Dick holding Leonel. 

It is hard to watch him deteriorate.  And we wonder how much longer he will be with us.  And I wonder why, when he is receiving such good care, he’s not doing well.  This ISN’T how it’s SUPPOSED to be.  Leonel continues to teach me about surrender.  But it’s hard and it hurts. . .


Now there is José. . .I don’t know yet all that he will teach me.  He has already taught me, though, that sometimes I must be the voice for one who cannot speak for himself.  That I must, after much prayer, draw a line in the sand when I believe it’s His will.  And it’s scary.  We still don’t know what the outcome will be. 
Will his family blame us if he does not do well?  Will they be willing to take him home again if he does grow strong enough? Did we do the right thing?  Did we wait too long before we did something?

He is teaching me already to trust in doing our best to be obedient as we understand God’s direction—even when the consequences of our obedience are still unclear.  He is teaching me to love someone who doesn’t seem to care if I’m there or not.  To love without expecting anything in return.  To love at the same time I let go.  Hard lessons—all learned from one who cannot speak, but who has purpose. 

Link to Part One