The past few weeks I’ve been busy. I had an intensive Masters class, started an online course, had parent/teacher conferences, coached basketball games, started 10k training, baked delicious muffins for a group of high school kids, and more.
The past few weeks I’ve been sick. A serious head cold set in during my class and it took a bit longer to shake it due to the busyness.
The past few weeks I’ve been sad. Everything else has seemed a lot harder because I’m sad. A family that I’ve known and loved since I moved to Guatemala suffered a great tragedy – the type of tragedy that would make front page news in the States. A hardworking man. Extortion. Murder. Three children left fatherless; a young woman left a widow.
But in Guatemala this news is common – so common it doesn’t make the news. Society doesn’t stop and mourn. Vocal leaders don’t question the injustice, the broken systems that allow for these deaths to continue. People don’t mount a #twitter campaign. Life goes on.
So let me take a minute to share about Carlos. Carlos was the husband of Vilma, father of three. Carlos took his brother-in-law in to his small, 10×10 tin shack house so he could have a family. Carlos was far from perfect, but in a community where most dads are absent, Carlos was there. His son loved him and his eyes shone when he talked about his dad. Carlos worked hard on a garbage truck – I often saw him working in Z15. Most days he would pretend he didn’t see me (how do I describe why? Not sure, but I understand.). I vividly remember the day when I was playing baseball with some kids from Zone 3 – we saw Carlos and he smiled a huge smile and waved. I treasure that image. Carlos and Vilma were the first couple in Zone 3 who invited me into their home. I’m thankful for that.
Now Carlos is gone. I fear for what his wife and children face. I fear for the anger and bitterness that could form in an 8 year old boy whose dad was taken away. I wish I could take away their pain. I know I can’t, so I pray that they experience peace that passes all understanding. I pray that these sweet children and their mama cling to their Abba Father’s love during this time. I pray.
Please join me – take a moment and remember a life that was lived and lost, a life that was overlooked and then taken away, a life that deserves to be remembered.