Yesterday, my boys came home from school to find a visitor they haven’t seen since they were five and six years old. Maria came to take care of them five days a week, for almost six years. She was like a second mother back then, loving them like they were her own. She spoke to them only in Spanish, she sang Spanish nursery rhymes, cuddled them, danced with them and took them on all sorts of adventures. She was such a treasured part of our family. But once they were both in school, and I decided to leave my career to begin HeartStories, we knew the time had come to help Maria find another family to love.
I didn’t know how in the world that was going to go.
When we originally hired her, I think I somehow thought she’d be part of our family forever. I hadn’t considered how we might one day, need to say goodbye. I was terribly concerned that the boys would be scarred for life. That they would feel abandoned, or somehow left behind. Quite honestly, I was sad too. Maria had become a special friend to me as well. We spoke only Spanish to one another in the house and it was like a little haven all our own.
Even without knowing how to do it right, to make sure everyone was going to be okay, we had to take that next step.
When her last day came, we said our tearful goodbyes and we all went on with our lives. The boys were sad for a little while, but they adjusted much better than I thought they might. Oddly, even that, made me a little sad. I wanted them to remember her. So we told stories, looked at pictures, and talked about Maria often.
It was a confusing time of transition on all the levels, but I knew for sure it was the right next step.
I kept up with Maria for a short time through my friend who hired her to take care of her two baby boys. Then it was only phone calls on birthdays. Then it faded to only Facebook updates and infrequent comments back and forth. Until one day last week, when she reached out wondering if I knew anyone who needed their house cleaned. Both hands in the air, I asked her when she could start!
Yesterday was a reunion for the history books.
Two weeks ago, I would have told you that the story of Maria was one for baby books and childhood memories. But today, I see a beautiful story unfolding that had been weaving on the back of the tapestry over all these years. Everyone in my living room was smiling and speaking Spanish. What a joy that was to behold.
You don’t have to know the ending, to take the next step.
Sometimes life brings you to a crossroads that looks more like a dead-end. It looks like choosing one good thing will forever be the end of another good thing. I’m here to tell you today, that the story is forever unfolding.
Trust the journey.
Do the next right thing.
to more love,