I am not closing my eyes tonight. I am fighting sleep. I do not want these lids to close because I know I will not dream of you. I will not see your precious little faces. It would be cruel if I did as I slept peacefully in my comfortable bed that would hold 10 of you. My white sheet would be blackened by morning from you sweaty dirty little bodies sprawled out. The only time I see you is when I force myself to remember. I have pushed you so far away from my world, my reality, that you are but a memory that I need pictures to envision your faces.
I am one in a million I was told today. You, you are millions. And yet you are one. Standing behind my fence I remember the millions, but looking at those faces- I remember the ones. Rochel who looked so darling in her little blue uniform. Rachel who clung to me because they kept touching her soft hair. Jamesly with your quick smile and what I can only assume is your equally quick wit. I do not remember all of their names. I remember the toddler who drank gasoline he was so thirsty. I remember the 2 year old who weighed in at a meager 14 pounds. I remember playing jump rope with you school children. I remember your dirty hands grabbing everything I had. I remember playing monster in the streets. We may not have spoke the same language but you understood monster hands mean tickling. And tickling is universal- it always generates a laugh. I remember the lines of hungry kids. The faces of those who received no food. The siblings who would share. The kids sitting outside the school just trying to listen to the teachers and gain any information they could. I remember saying ‘no’ a thousand times. And only truly meaning it once. I remember the children offered to me to bring back to America.
I remember when I force myself. Tonight I fight off sleep so I can remember you.