It's a rainy, rainy Saturday. I woke at about 3 am this morning, the sky was brightening as it does here in the north, and my dog accompanied me down to the couch. The skies were clear and it almost felt like morning had arrived. Charlie went straight to the love seat and settled in with her usual three spins, a groan and a deep sigh. She figures she just needs to be in close proximity even when sleeping. So, I sat on the couch for a while, looking out at the sky and the line of heavy clouds creeping in slowly.
I woke on the couch around 9 to Jason trying to boil water quietly. I'm not sure how he thought that an electric kettle was going to be shushed or maybe it was a passive aggressive measure to get me up and awake. Either way, I am easily placated by coffee and he made that happen so the morning stayed on a smooth course. One by one, the boys made their way down to us, all bed head and pyjama clad. They have the look of small boys in their sleepy faces, despite their ever growing stature. Mornings like this, when no one has a scheduled game or work, we find ourselves happy to lounge around the couch and puttering around the kitchen.
Jason put some croissants in the oven and boiled some eggs and we all made our way to the island for breakfast. I asked Aidan to pass the milk jug, which he did, after pouring himself a glass. I picked up his glass and drank out of it, reminding him to always serve others first. He told me it wasn't true, you don't always have to serve others first. In airplanes, you put your own oxygen mask on before helping others with theirs. Always the kid to get me on a technicality. Then Easton chimed in, as he always does, with a quote from "Now You See Me"...saying that actually, you help your lawyer first, then your mask, then on to the children. His memory for all things movie related is uncanny as is his lack of ability to remember to brush teeth or turn out lights behind him. The mind of an 11 year old.
We all settled in around the house on various electronics and into reading corners. I was up in my room, dog at my feet, reading some favourite blogs when I heard the house phone ring. It's unusual in itself for anyone but telemarketers to call us on our landline so I listened as Easton made his way up the stairs with the phone and telling whoever was on the other end that he was going to pass them on to his mom. He mouthed to me, "It's someone from Zambia." I assumed it was our friends that have immigrated here so I took the phone and was surprised to hear a Zambian accent and greetings from my friend, Dorothea, in Mulenga! She explained that she was using her husband's phone and that she wanted to call to say that her family missed me. I was so surprised! We talked for a few minutes about her kids and the new baby, Jesse, that I have yet to meet. Then, she handed the phone to Eva. I couldn't believe it. I was standing at the top of my stairs in Saskatoon, speaking to the little girl I love in her little home in Mulenga. She said "Hello!" and I said, "Hello! How are you?" and she said, in her best English, "I am fine! How are you?" and then giggled. Imagine. A giggle from halfway around the world and then I started to come undone. Tears started. I asked her how her brothers were and she said they were fine. I told her I loved her. I asked her about Jesse and she said he was a good baby. Then we said goodbye. Dorothea came back on the phone and we talked for just a few minutes, enough for me to know that her family is all well and the kids are well cared for. Then her husband, who I've never met, came on the phone and told me that he was looking forward to meeting me in person. I agreed. I told him I loved his family very much and that I was so happy to hear from them. He told me that he was hopeful we would all be together soon and said goodbye with a blessing.
I sat with the phone in hand for a few minutes. I tried to retrieve their number but even as I dialled the operator, I knew it was a slim chance. I wasn't able to get the number. Even if I had, it would be unlikely that I could call it because for some reason, when phones in Zambia call or text out, the number is scrambled into something else and not the same on the receiving end.
I'm so thankful for a rainy, wet, Saturday that found me home when they called. I'm so thankful for the chance to hear from my little friend and her family and to know that they are well and safe and healthy.
Last night, my friend, Gloria, and I went out for dinner and then sat around the firepit in our backyard. We talked about Eva and her family, as Gloria has sent letters and little gifts to this family since I first told her about them. I showed her the photo of Kristal with baby Jesse from the past few weeks and we talked about the kids, and the family and all that they face. And then today, as if by chance, I find myself on the phone with them.
I never anticipated the possibility that I would hear their voices while I was in Canada. It makes me long to sit with them again, in their home, in a community I love and hear their voices again.