Today is July 5, 2011. It is day 9 of my freedom. I slept very well last night and woke up early this morning at 9:06 a.m. feeling refreshed and happy. I spent my morning with the girls in the house. I encouraged Ceci to read to me from a book about dinasours. Ceci did a great job in reading to me.
Then I showed her and Tink pictures of Washington, D.C., and told them about major figures and events in American history like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, the Vietnam War, and World War II. I asked Ceci why we celebrate July 4th, and then I told her about the Declaration of Independence. I had Ceci on one side of me and Tink on the other, and they sat spell-bound as I showed them pictures of the major sights of Washington, D.C., and explained the historical significance of the sites to them in language that I hope young children can understand. Eventually little Isabella joined us as well. I realized that I wanted to help give these girls in the transition house the kind of love and attention that I was denied as a child. I felt an inner sense of healing in reaching out and touching these little girls in a positive way. I also encouraged Mary and Sophia to read their compositions to me.
Later on I got to meet with Gisel in person for the first time, and that was a great pleasure. She told me that she had four daughters aged 13, 14, 15, and 16, and I asked her how she was able to handle four teenage girls. She and I joked that an overnight stay at her house would be the best form of birth control available. I look forward to many more personal conversations and times spent together with Gisel, and I really appreciate her support.
I also got to meet with Marcela’s friend Patti and her mother Margot. I got to speak to Patti and Margot in Spanish and learn about their family in Lima, Peru, and Miami and Patti’s work as a journalist for a Peruvian newspaper. This was another healing move for me today. Today writing my story was cathartic also.
Julia asked me about what kind of research jobs at FIU interested me, and I told her that I needed more time to decompress before applying for research jobs at FIU. I am taking things hour by hour at this point and not ready for major commitments yet. But I appreciate her support too. I also got a lovely and moving note from Ibis which lifted my spirit.
I am still waiting to travel back to Boca to get my stuff, but the bottom lines is I am happy here and enjoying the safe environment in this transition house.