I honestly thought I would never see Misa's grandmother "Mami" come for a visit to the States but on July 14th she arrived. Communication with her has always been difficult for me but I noticed a huge difference this time because I didn't feel so insecure about myself and I would just try to speak whether it was right or not! 90% of the time we were able to get our point across and understood each other!
Erlinda Salinas is 77 years old and stands just under 5 feet tall. She has lived in the Olancho region of Honduras most of her life. She quit school at 3rd grade. She single handedly supported and raised 3 children. She grew coffee in the mountains and during harvest she would walk 2.5 hours up the mountain one way. She went into labor with her oldest son Javier while picking coffee and walked down by herself to her house, had him without assistance, & then went back to picking coffee the next day with the little one strapped to her. When her daughter Flor Maria died of MS she took on the responsibility of her children Misa who was 7 years old and Claudia was 1. It was Flor's wish that they come to the States and live with Pete and Janine Brazle but Mami could not give up the only thing she had left of her beloved Flor. However, when Misa was 16 and Claudia was 10 she decided to let them go. She is an amazing woman who literally ends and begins her day on her knees in prayer. She is now raising her great-grandson who is 10. She cooks out over and open fire. I say all of this so that you can get a picture of the strength and life of this woman.
We were concerned about her adjustment here but she did amazing! Before she came here the longest she had ever been in a car was 4 hours and in the 2 weeks she was here we spent 53 hours in the car. She LOVES flowers and we spent a lot of time looking, smelling, and talking about flowers. She loved to hear and see planes fly overhead and we all would stop and look when there was one! She had also only seen a train on television so seeing trains was very exciting!
I feel like I really got to know her this trip. We are both early risers so we got to spend a lot of time alone in the mornings together. After her breakfast she always found work to do even if that included sweeping Pete and Janine's entire yard or chopping firewood with a machete.
We laughed a lot and we cried when she went back! I am beyond thankful for this amazing, spite-fire, stubborn, godly woman! I am forever changed and have made a bigger effort to stop and appreciate the flowers. I have been thinking a lot about the story of Ruth and Naomi since her visit and I feel like I truly know what Ruth felt when she said "Your people will be my people and your God will be my God." We truly come from two different worlds but God brought us together and made us family and I am forever grateful!