I brought Maria some coloring pencils and a sketch pad. Yesterday, we had some down time and she enjoyed coloring. I’ve learned not to be nosy abut her work and patience has its rich rewards. Early this morning, she had torn out two pages and explained one was for her daddy and one was for me. It has been a good visit and I left her at her day program after our farewell ritual–first, a tight hug, then I make the sign of the cross on her forehead and say “I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Recently she decided she would bless me as well and she does it with all the seriousness and reverence imaginable. Another lesson I’ve learned with our girl is harder. After that last goodbye, I walk away and I don’t look back. First, because more often than not, I am fighting back the tears and I don’t want to burden my girl with my sadness. Even more important, I don’t look back because I am not sure I’d be able to leave if I did. The leave-taking just does not get easier. The grace–and there is grace–comes in moments like the one just now, when I opened my laptop and found her drawings.
My flight is delayed and I got to the airport early. I am glad for the time to put myself back together and begin the journey back to the rest of my life.