The first year and a half of my daughter’s life is a little foggy in my memory. There were several moments of malaise and melancholy, and a lot of moving parts. I do remember the big things, like the three months of orthopedic visits, cardiology scans and angst of when we would reunite with my husband. I don’t recall any intense emotions, and guess there probably weren’t too many. I feel like I simply went through the motions of life and did exactly enough to make it through each day. Nothing more and nothing less. Always just enough.
By Fall, it had been seven months since I’d seen my home in Ghana. Once my daughter was medically cleared, we packed up our layette shipment and much of the toys and things we’d accumulated over our time in America. The shipping bill was easily in the hundreds of dollars range. But, like I mentioned, I only did enough to get through the day. Paring down was too much work; it was easier to let movers pack everything and just write a check. So, that was my solution.
Fortunately, I have pictures of my daughter in Africa. It it weren’t for those, I wouldn’t remember even taking her there. I have one of her eating her first bowl of oatmeal, one of her looking intrigued by her brother dancing on a chair to Justin Timberlake and another one of her dressed like a giant American flag as she is toted to her first sightseeing tour through the jungle. Well, it was as good a time as ever to see the Volta River and Akosombo Dam. Evidence of a giant millipede is on the same roll of film. (Yikes.)
Our stint together as a family in Ghana was short-lived. While I knew several babies lived and breathed and survived the malaria medication, that didn’t mean I was comfortable with the idea, or that I had to subject my kids to it. Before Christmas, I packed up and left Africa for good. I told my husband I would see him when the tour was over – sometime around February or March. I headed home to Oklahoma for Christmas and spent some much necessary time being coddled and taken care of by my family. And unbeknownst to me at the time, I was also spending the last Christmas with my jovial, radiant and influential grandmother.
Until tomorrow –
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