A Day of “Sankofa”

A West African word “Sankofa,” which means, “look to the past, walk to the future,” is one that I have learned from my friends at Amani Ya Juu, a sewing and reconciliation project for marginalized women in Africa. The women of Amani often talk about the process of healing, growth, and transformation as being one embodied by this word.

Today was such a day for us.

This morning we returned, for the first time, to Oak Lawn.

My heart was overwhelmed with the love and friendship we found there as we walked again those paths we tread day in and day out for eight weeks.
The hugs and smiles on the faces of the RMH staff, talking with one of Naomi’s doctors and the chaplain brought comfort and warmed our hearts. The joy on my boys faces as they revisited the safe haven of the house was beautiful.It was bittersweet. Adrin went up to PHSU and saw many of the nurses and one of Naomi’s surgeon. I stayed in the comfort and peace of the House.

We concluded our brief visit with a trip to Jason’s Deli. Some friends from Harvest Palos met us there and, once again, our hearts were warmed as we enjoyed catching up with them.

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And then this evening we ventured forward as we attended an orientation at the school where in two short weeks Gabe will begin kindergarten. After a snack with future classmates and a story time with his new teacher, all the future kindergarteners got to take a bus ride around the block!

Someone was a little excited!

Momma, on the other hand, was so nervous as we drove to the school, and yet after meeting Gabe’s new teacher, I knew that we are in for a wonderful year. Mrs. C is a wonderfully warm woman who immediately put us at ease. And, as we shared a bit of what our family has been through with the loss of Naomi, with tears in her eyes she shared of her own loss of a sibling at a young age. I have had such a burden for my boy as he enters kindergarten and continues to process through these last few months. Knowing that he will have a teacher, who is also a Christ follower, who also has walked a path of grief as a child means more to me than I can say. Amazing, huh?

And then we headed to the school playground…because who doesn’t love a new playground to explore?

After some chatting with other parents, we headed home with two tired, but happy boys as we continue to walk toward the future while remembering all that has come before.

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