Because my youngest daughter, who is deaf, goes to school out of state, I sometimes rent a hotel room for myself, my oldest daughter and her son, Alley (Alejandro) to visit together. Last weekend was one such weekend. I love to see the interaction of the three of them, Dinora signing in ASL to Marie and Alley trying to copy the signs with his small hands. (He explains that Marie can’t talk because her ears are broken, so she has to use her hands…) His favorite sign, “swimming”, is used often because he wants them to spend all of their time together in the hotel pool. It was during one of their swims, while I was sitting in the lounge chair by the pool, sipping a nice tall plastic cup of Diet Coke, and smiling while the three of them frolicked, that I was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy in my heart. They were beaming with laughter and exuding a happiness that one could not overlook…a deep, profound happiness which doesn’t often come to Marie. Seeing her eyes glint with laughter, tears stung at the back of my eyes, then slowly slipped down my cheeks. To think that a child who had been so severely abused as she could come through all of that darkness and despair to ultimately be able to experience such joy made my heart want to explode with love for the three of them. I could not remember ever having been so content in my life, but my reverie was soon disturbed, but not unpleasantly…
My tears of joy were soon replaced by tears of laughter. Alley came out of the pool and looked around… “Where’s the cat pool?” he asked. “The CAT pool? There is no cat pool!” I replied. “Yes! Yes! In hotels there are sometimes CAT pools!” he argued, frustrated that I could not understand what he was asking. “You know, the pool for the kitties.” Ah! The KIDDY POOL!
To read about Marie’s early childhood, here is a link to my book:
Link to the Readers Digest review of my book: http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/