Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gracie and her handkerchief

I know I don’t usually blog about my life, but today held something very special to me. Or, rather I held someone very special to me.

I always love going to Acacia Community Church. The people are so friendly, and I get to see some very special friends. One of which, is Grace. She is the sweetest little girl you’ll ever find. Her one goal seems to be to be friends with all who will look at her. She has the best imagination, and loves to be just with you. I love to help with the kids, mostly because of the ones like her.

Only one problem: she can’t run. She can hardly walk without wincing. Some-days you might hear her, “ah! oh, my leg. It dis paining me.” Her preference is to be held than to walk anywhere in the Church (or, it’s actually the Nester’s house) premises. And she usually gets her wish. But when all the other kids are playing tag, she watches them run. She may even whimper a slight sound. But she’ll never complain—she just sits and watches. When I have the strength, I love to pick her up and run around the compound; usually most the other kids find it very much fun to chase me, so we’re all happy. But today, I was about to fall asleep on her shoulder. And she was nearly crying.

She always loves to carry a “bahguh,” whether it’s big enough to hold her one handkerchief or not. And she shows that one handkerchief to many passersby. She tells them, “it fol when I chry. I do na want authahs to know I chry, so I karly a hankderchiff.” She’s five, and she already knows the art of hiding the heart.

It’s white, with rainbow colours on the borders. But it’s stained with the tears of a girl who’s lost her parents, has no one her age that cares, and lives her life sharing every single thing she “owns” with 14 other girls. Her best friend was taken from the “family” orphanage, in which she lives, just weeks ago. I wish I could ease her pain.

Her handkerchief is one of beauty and pain. And I wish I could purify the white without the tear stains. I tell her, and she asks the same question as always, “Why? Is you hankerchiff clee-ann?”


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