My dearest Haiti,
Only two memories in my life shine clearer than when you entered with your different sounds, sights, tastes and feelings.
Even during that short first visit of three weeks during kindergarden you forever changed my impressionable outlook of life.
Returning to live in your warm, welcoming hug for two years as a grade schooler continued the life lessons.
The torturous hours spent with mom teaching me, counting the minutes until I could go to the hospital to 'work' or observe.
A tiny dream planted that would grow and pull me to return to that same hospital as a young doctor and mother years later. Once again learning lessons from your people and continuing to become one of them.
Those who do not know my story may assume I'm American but they cannot see under my skin or in my brain where the Haitian parts rest, thrive and influence the course of my life.
You shaped my ideas of justice and hope.
You showed me in the faces of your people what it means to be hungry or thirsty.
I watched children die. I watched children born. I watched, felt and learned.
You taught me over the years of my life how helping and good intentions can hurt. How sometimes the best course of action can be painful and misunderstood.
You taught me to closely listen to the Lord and ask for His wisdom, knowledge, grace and mercy.
My dearest Haiti, you taught me to take risks and pick my battles wisely. You knocked many a hard edge off my character and hurt me.
You also helped me to grow and heal. Without you I would not be me.
My dearest Haiti, I watch as you mold and shape my children in many of the same ways you shaped me. I'm grateful for the young people you helped to mold and shape in my home.
While each of us remains unique we also share a special view of the world from our American Haitian eyes and hearts.
On the eve of the 4th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that changed us all my feelings and memories mix together with a kaleidoscope of good and bad.
Of memories to be repressed and pushed down and those that rise to the top and wish…no need to be acknowledged.
I can say the same of the 15 years you've cradled our family in your land, your memories make me smile through my tears.
I'll never forget as you mingle with the very fibers of my being.
Lord Bless Haiti. Change her negatives for the better. Do not let her positive beauties and strengths fade or weaken. Dry her tears. May she be all You created her to be. May I as well.
Like the waves on the sea the highs and lows living in my dearest Haiti can change rapidly but one fact remains in the mist of time and change. I love you. Thank you Lord for my dearest Haiti.