Tuesday, December 7, 2010
It is with great sorrow in my heart, tears in my eyes, that I post this photo. Here is Edith, and her beloved son Gustavo (renamed Luis by others). I took this photo in the happy times... when she would drop by our porch every day. Together we watched Gustavo graduate to crawling and toddling -- a mischievously delightful child, dearly loved and watched over by his mommy. Edith was so proud of him, and so proud to BE a mommy, and she took a job in the village doing laundry to support him....
I do not know why she left the village. I presume she wanted to do even better by him -- to earn more money and provide him with a better home than the one she shared next-door to us, with her brother and her grandfather.
I do not know, really, what happened -- though I suspect her birth-father across the road from us knows, along with his wife. It's hard to write this. Did she fall under the spell of drugs and alcohol, the fear of poverty, the prospect of a better life, the tyranny of a lover? The lover, by whom she was pregnant again, DID say he would not raise that boy-of-another-man. Edith was pregnant by this lover, and so she gave up her beloved Gustavo, back to our village -- back to her grandfather (little Gustavo's great-grandfather). He was renamed Luis.
Luis was initially horrifically traumatized -- yet he and I resumed our daily joyfulness together -- though now, he would not speak. Nevertheless, daily he came to me, and in pantomime, asked me to play my dulcimer, and then he would roll up in a blanket and lie silently for long stretches of time. He loved my toys, especially the truck that honked....
And then he was gone. But it was GOOD! He'd been adopted in Zihuatanejo by relatives of his who longed for a son. They have two daughters. The mother runs a daycare preschool, the father apparently has a plant nursery. They love little Luis. He loves them. When he visits the village now, he is a normal, active, mischievous, talkative, creative young lad. He remembers me. Posted earlier in this blog is a drawing he gave me (as well as a photo of him drawing it) -- a smiling golden heart. I had always called him "Corazon del oro." He was listening.
One day, Luis was visiting, and so was Edith with her little toddler daughter. Luis showed no indication whatsoever that Edith had ever been his mother... but he was happy and very busy playing. Edith, on the other hand, was utterly changed. No longer the joking, happy, and loving woman -- dear friend -- that we had known. She said not a word when we sat down beside her. She seemed dull and lifeless. Her daughter played nearby, dressed prettily in red velvet. Edith sat with us a short while and then silently got up and walked out of our lives forever....
Not long afterwards, we got word that she had been brutally murdered -- by a gang of men, probably from the bar where she served drinks. It was late at night and she was walking home when they assaulted her. All we know, all I know (I have not asked for details beyond those given me), is that her body was found, naked, slashed brutally about torso and face -- floating in the river.
Her sweet daughter -- there is a happy ending for her too. The father is apparently out of the picture -- but she has been adopted by her blood-grandfather who lives across the road from us and he and his wife have two small kids close to her age. She is completely bonded to them, now -- to a loving and close family. She is happy here. She even loves ME! Walking alone (at age what, 3?) down the village street, she just might catch a glimpse of me in my ramada up the hill -- and she will sing out a happy greeting with a wave to me. I pass by her house -- again, she calls out with a big smile and a wave. She is at ease visiting my playroom... And from time to time, Luis and family drop by as well.
I would love to hug Edith, to tell her that her children are happy and well -- and that she has wonderful children, and that I loved her very much, and that I know her heart was that of a deeply loving mother, and a playful happy soul.