You Can’t Leave Me
The other day when Tenele was over, she came into the kitchen with me as I prepared some pologny (a Swazi meat) sandwhiches for the kids. Out of nowhere she blurts, “Mama, you can’t leave.”
We had briefly talked about how soon I am leaving, that I only have a little time left here. I told her not to think about it, but she clearly couldn’t get it out of her mind. “I have to…” I said back to her. But she shook her head.
“You can’t leave,” she said again, and when I shook my head yes she repeated, “No…no, no…”
I stopped slicing the meat and looked up at her; she held up baby MK over her face so I couldn’t see her. When I walked over to her, tears were streaming down her cheeks. She fell into my hug and starting bawling. She cried so hard, she was shaking. Soon her tears became my own, and I wasn’t sure what wet spots on my shirt were from her tears or mine. We cried in an embrace together before I tried to console her. But how can you console someone at a time like that? She walked outside with her baby and Christina caught me in the hallway. After asking if I was okay, I couldn’t respond. When she hugged me, I cried harded on Christina’s shoulder. She just let me cry for awhile before I cleared up enough to join Tenele outside. We sat on the steps for a long time, and without any words we shared an incredible moment of being able to cry together. I’ve cried FOR Tenele many, many times, but I have rarely been able to cry WITH Tenele. Though it was painful, it was a blessing when she laid her head on my lap we cried and prayed together.
Eish. My time here is so short. My departure will be the most painful one yet. But the best thing about tears is that God catches them because he loves and heals broken hearts. Jehovah-rapha, the God who Heals, is already working to mend the pain of being apart. I tried to ensure that Tenele knows that even though I am physically leaving, the love I have for her never will because it belongs to the Lord–it comes from the Lord, the one who will NEVER leave her. I can rest asured knowing my daughter is in the best of hands, which of course, are NOT my own.