Sunday, September 29, 2013

Turning the Page

As noted in my post from last night, I need to let go of some of this.  When a family member has been seriously injured and you have few details about what happened or why, it can literally drive you mad.  I want answers.  I want clarity.  I want closure.  And yet, there is nothing I can do that is going to make any of that happen.  I want to know why this happened.  I want someone held accountable, if appropriate.  But it's all just a big question mark.  So today I worked on just trying to give my myself a break from driving myself mad.

As expected, the girls were up at the crack of dawn this morning.  I heard SB start whining "binkeeeeeee" at about 5:30, but T was kind enough to get up with her.  Still, Miss M crawled into bed with me a short time later and snuggled in next to me.  "Mommy," she whispered, "it's morning time.  See how it's light out?  Do you want to get up with me?  C'mon."  And of course I did, even though it was at least 3am before I fell asleep.

And we had a great day.  We found tons of art supplies while unpacking, including an unused canvas.  During SB's morning nap, I covered the kitchen floor with a clean drop cloth (we have, oh, half a dozen brand new ones--don't ask me why), and Miss M and I opened up a brand new set of acrylics and brushes.  We painted forever.  I love what she came up with.  It's so much better than anything I did.  There's something about how children paint, fearlessly, with abandon,  that creates the most beautiful end product.  The canvas is mostly in shades of pink and red, with a few splashes of green.  It started out being a variety of other colors, but as she mixed, painted and repainted, the entire canvas took on a rosy hue.  I truly love it.  Once I'm sure it's dry, we're going to hang it in her room.

I made the best guacamole of my life just before lunch, and ate it with tortilla chips while the girls had grilled cheese and fruit.  It was AMAZING.  Avocados are cheap here, and there are a million varieties.  Some are almost as big as my head.  When you buy avocados, you typically buy them from an avocado vendor, and they don't sell anything but avocados.  When you buy them, you tell the vendor when you want to eat them, and they select them for you based on ripeness.  It's all so. . .specific.  So, when I bought these avocados, I told him I wanted them for today.  The variety I chose was small with thick, very lumpy, almost black skin.  I bought about a dozen of them yesterday for about $2.50.  

Post-guacamole, it was naptime for all of us, and we all slept for two hours.  It was much-needed after last night.  After we woke up, we headed to the park for a while, where we kicked a soccer ball around.  SB is particularly good at it, given that she's only 18 months.  I think she's going to have a gift for sports, because she has tremendous balance (she was standing on top of her zebra ride-on bouncy toy today.  Sigh), as well as great hand-eye coordination.

I found some decent fish at a market yesterday, too, so after the park, we Skyped with grandma, then I cooked a really good dinner, if I do say so myself:  salmon, really good mashed potatoes (the varieties here are all different, and the one I picked up yesterday was phenomenal--some of my best mashed potatoes ever), and a weird variety of squash (it's about the size of a throw pillow) that baked to perfection with nutmeg, butter and brown sugar.  The girls both ate all of their dinners (rare, in this house), which was especially notable because neither has ever willingly eaten fish before.

And then, they both went to bed without a fuss.  It's been a pretty great day.  Now to put another one together tomorrow.

The Middle of the Night

I've been laying here for hours, in the dark.  The facts run through my mind over and over again.  What happened?  What happened?  What happened?  Whathappenedwhathappenedwhathappened??? Over and over and over.  And yet I don't know, and this isn't helping.  I'm exhausted, and wish I could rid my head of this whole thing.  And I'm annoyed because I can't sleep, and I'll be exhausted in three hours when SB wakes up, and morning time with the girls is my favorite thing in the world, and    I won't be in top form for them.  I feel like this thing that has happened keeps robbing me.

I need to take my life, our lives, back from this thing.  I think I need to stop talking about it.  I know talking helps some people, but for me, for this, it just creates more stress.  I feel compelled to tell what little I know, to try to protect others, but I don't think I'm really helping anyone.  I have too little information and no answers, really--just terrible injuries and facts that don't add up, and some people seem to want concrete proof before they take any action or make changes.  Which frankly, also stresses me out.  I see danger, and some others do not seem to, and that makes me feel invisible and unheard.

And so I lay here in thet dark, awake and exhausted.  Well, tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


We have been cleared to head home, and are headed back to South America this week.  I have mixed feelings about going back.  On the one hand, this incident could have happened anywhere in the world.  On the other hand, we have no answers as to what happened or how it happened.  I'm not sure that we ever will know the truth.  I am not looking forward to returning to a place where there is such ambiguity.

Oh sure, we have been given an "explanation."  We have been told by the people that supposedly should know what happened that this was just all an innocent accident.  Of course, they also say that no one saw what happened.  I put "explanation" in quotation marks because the "explanation" we were given does not line up with the facts as we know them.  I also don't understand how this "explanation" came to be, if no one actually saw what happened (and really, it's clear that someone did in fact see something--they might want to hide it, but someone does know exactly what happened).  The "explanation" we were given doesn't make sense, in light of the pieces that we know to be true.  I wish it did.  I wish this could all be explained away as an innocent accident.  I desperately want to believe that.  But that doesn't make any sense to me.

I learned a long time ago that the truth has its own cadence, its own rhythm and flow.  Even when the truth doesn't "make sense" when you step back and look at it (because people do crazy things for crazy reasons), you can tell that it is indeed the truth because all of the pieces fit together.  In this case, the pieces just don't fit together.  The "story" that we have been given not only doesn't make sense, it doesn't explain all of the evidence.


We can only live our lives in one direction.  We can't force anyone to tell us the truth, and we may never get the truth.  The physical healing has taken place, and if we want the mental healing to take place, we have to find a way to let go of this thing that has happened, and move on.  Part of me needs that closure of knowing exactly what happened.  It's hard to move on and find ways to deal when you don't actually know what you are dealing with.  But we may never get that information.  And so, here we are, living with ambiguity, and trying to figure out where we go from here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dealing With Things I'd Rather Not

I am not in a space where I want to write about it, but I also find it hard to be silent about something so enormous in our lives. So, I will say this: a member of my family was seriously injured while outside of our home, and there is an ongoing investigation into what happened.

What I feared, what I alluded to in my last post, is everything that would come next.  It has been as chaotic and difficult as I anticipated when I wrote that.  My employer flew my entire family back to the U.S. for medical and mental health services.  We are here indefinitely, trying to sort out what to do next.  I'm on leave for now, trying to help my family get through this.   Our lives are upside down, and there are more questions than answers.  Physically, we will all be fine.  I'm confident that we will get there mentally, as well, but this space that we are in right now is so incredibly difficult.

Friday, September 13, 2013


I feel like sailors must, when they discover they are too far out to sea to seek shelter and they learn a big storm is coming. I can feel the wind whipping up, see the waves getting bigger, hear the weather advisories about bad weather ahead. Intellectually, I know that that weather is probably coming. It is still pretty calm now, but I know it is coming. And yet, I still hope the storm will miss us.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Worst Day

My morning started with a phone call informing me that a family member has cancer. It only got worse from there. What the fuck, universe? Can't you let us be happy for awhile? And we have been really, really happy. Then today, two doses of terrible, the second one arriving before I could even process the first. Today's one-two punch of really awful news has me reeling. I don't want any of it to be real. I can't even bring myself to write more, because I just want it all to go away.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Perfect Weekend

We still really, really love it here. . .so much more than living in Europe, it is hard to even believe.  After living in so many people's "dream" location from 2010-2012 (and liking but not loving it), we had pretty low expectations for this place.  It has far, far surpassed those expectations.  The girls are napping, and I probably don't have enough time before they wake up to describe the many amazing things we are experiencing, so I will leave a brief description of our weekend and a few photos.

On Saturday, we went to a shopping area we hadn't been to, in search of a birthday present for my mother.  We didn't find one, but found a great local restaurant with lots of character and ate some great local food.  And drank juice.  The local juices here are AMAZING--loads of interesting fruits I've never heard of before, let alone tried.  Then we went to the park with the kids, and made some new friends while we were there.  One of our new friends had on these amazing boots, which she had made here just for her, after choosing the leather, style, and fittings all herself, for only $100.  I am SO having boots made.


Then on Sunday, we walked to a street market.  We had planned for a great/long adventure, because we thought that it was located really far from our house, but were pleased to discover that it is only about a mile and a half away.  It turned out to be a great walk, with lots of interesting stuff to check out on the way, like:

Bike polo (?):

And cool buildings:

and street vendors selling roasted corn as a snack. . .you only want to eat this variety of corn if you are in need of a little fiber.  I think it's what we call "cow corn" back home--in other words, cattle feed.  It is very. . .earthy.

While we were at the market, we ran into a couple T had met at the park.  They are here adopting a little boy, and are hoping their adoption will be final later this week, so they can return home.  He was with them, and it was pretty amazing to watch him interact with them.  They've only known him five weeks, and from watching them together, you would have thought they had all belonged to each other forever.

Late Sunday afternoon, our housekeeper came over to watch the kids, and we had dinner with friends.  The kids LOVE our housekeeper.  It's hard to believe we haven't known her forever, either!  SB is completely attached to her whenever she is here, and Miss M told both T and I that she was so much fun that she didn't want her to ever leave.  It is so nice to know that my kids like her so much.  It makes me feel okay about getting out once in a while for a grown-up night out.

There were 14 of us at a friend's apartment for dinner last night, and it was really fun.  Our friend has an apartment with stunning views of the city, and the food was great.  It was so nice to get out and hang out with adults.  And, we have met so many people here that we also had a second invite for dinner which we had to turn down, which was too bad, because we would have liked to have seen those folks, too.  It is amazing how many people we have met here, and how friendly people are.  Let's just say that living in northern Europe was a wee bit different!  We love, love, love how warm the people are here.  It is so very nice to have friends in a new place.  And everyone--EVERYONE--has offered to lend us stuff until our stuff finally arrives from the US, which is just so kind.

Then today, Miss M had school, and while SB napped, T and I went to the old historic part of town and walked around a bit, and toured some museums.  The cab ride both ways was terrifying, but it was otherwise great to get out and explore the city a bit.  I don't like taking the girls in the cabs here (they are ridiculously unsafe. . .well, for everyone, but particularly children), so this was the first time we'd been to that particular area, and it was really cool.

Although, we will have to go back to that area at some point so the girls can ride these:

Gotta love the tourist llamas.  

And with that, I can hear the little one waking up.  We are so very blessed.