Monday, March 3, 2014
“Grief wraps around people, takes them to a place they would not go otherwise.” ― Patti Callahan Henry
I have been feeling really down lately and didn’t understand why. There is usually a cause of my depression, at least since I have been living here. Then, in a moment of clarity, I realized I was grieving because Amos had left us. He hadn’t died but had left of his own accord for what he called a change in his life. We had know Amos since our first trip here in 2003 when he was one of the workers helping us put a concrete floor in the Methodist Church here in Bunda. When we moved here in 2005, he was one of the workers helping build our house and Martha’s Place. He has been working for us full-time since then, almost nine years. He was extremely reliable, trustworthy, and knew more English than he let on. Karen taught his sons English, and they are doing very well now. We celebrated his joys, the birth of a child, the new uniform, the bicycle we bought him, and we gave him his first Bible in a language he could read. We suffered with his sad times, we bought the coffin for his little daughter who died when a wall of their house collapsed during heavy rains and crushed her. We gave him time off for the many funerals he attended of his family and loved ones. We laughed with him often, for he was almost always happy and eager to please. When he was working nights, we slept more soundly because he never slept and if the power failed it would be less than a couple of minutes before he had the generator going and the power back on. He posed for pictures with almost every group that came with his bow and arrow (which I provided and of which he was very proud). He was a daily presence in our lives for almost nine years and now he is gone. We paid him more than any other worker and paid for his sons school fees, uniforms, and special tutoring. We bought him jackets when it was cold and new rain boots every season. So, I miss him. I can’t help but feel that his leaving is somehow my fault (I know it isn’t—but I feel like it is). He wants to go back to his village and establish a shop that he and his wife can run and use to make a good living. His leaving gives him three months wages at once, and he has about $1,000 in social security that he can receive, which will give him enough money to get started. We wish him well with his new endeavors. I don’t understand the pull of a local village, but Shaban tells me it is very, very strong in many cases. So, Amos is gone, and I feel bad. I guess that’s a sign that I cared for him and that’s not a bad thing. He told me when he left that he loved all of his time here and wasn’t leaving because of me or Karen or John because he loved all of us. So now I have a little hole in my heart that will not go away. We will go on, we must, we have a mission to run and a call to answer. God never promised us that this would always be fun, only important.