Friday, August 17, 2012

The Reunion Of A Lifetime.

Drumroll, please.

If there is one moment in my life that I have thought about and dreamt about for many years, this moment would be it. The moment that I would see sweet Vilma again.

It seems silly. Having your life drastically altered by someone you only knew for five days. Especially when that person was only four years old at the time. But it was. I thought about her every single day. That little girl impacted my life more in five days than some people have done in years.
And I finally got to see her again.

I tried not to get my hopes up when thinking about our reunion. (And yes, she was a big part of why I came down to Siguatepeque.) If I dreamt big and the reunion didn't live up to my standards, I would be devastated. I spent a long time trying to convince myself that she wouldn't remember me or that she wouldn't want to see me.

I was wrong, of course. She did remember me. And she did want to see me. But the reunion was nothing like I had imagined it.

I was riding in the back of the pastor's car, slowly beginning to recognize my surroundings as I realized that we were approaching her house. I turned around in my seat and I saw her sitting on her front step with her mom. I had to choke back tears. I would recognize her anywhere and it made me so happy to just see her. We got up to the pastor's house and Lorena, Yessenia, and I walked down to Vilma's house. I was SO nervous. I had butterflies, I wanted to cry, I almost vomited, I couldn't stop smiling. I was a trainwreck.

We got to her house and saw that she was holding her head in her hands with blood on her shirt. It was a terribly inappropriate time to not be able to stop smiling, but I was just so happy to see her. As it turns out, someone had thrown a rock at her and it cut her head, hence the blood and tears. It took her a few seconds to recognize me, but as soon as she did, she had the biggest smile on her face. As big as it can be when you are crying in pain, I suppose. Lorena asked if she remembered me and she smiled and nodded. I just kept smiling at her-- THAT happy.

Her mom was tending to her wounds and not really paying attention to us standing there. She finally looked up, stared at me, and her hand flew to her chest. She kept saying "Ay Dios Mio, ay Dios Mio." She said that she was shocked to see me and couldn't stop smiling when I said that I was going to be here for a whole year. A neighbor lady was at the house and said something about "the girl from the picture". Vilma's mom said that she looks at our pictures every day and talks about me all the time. She and I could not stop smiling at each other.

When we were getting ready to go back up to the pastor's house, Vilma stood up and hugged and kissed me despite all of her tears. She told me that she loved me and I told her that I would see her again soon.

It was so far from the reunion that I had imagined I would have with her. I actually couldn't have imagined this being the reunion that she and I would have with each other. But somehow, it was just what my heart needed. I felt so happy after seeing her. I remembered why she means so much to me. I cannot put into words what it means to me that I am able to see her every week for the next year.


  1. My heart is happy for you both. I look forward to seeing you both during the year and finally meeting Vilma in person! Love, Dad

  2. Oh Caitlin, I have tears in my eyes from reading this post. I love how God works to bring people into our lives that teach US about His love. I have always said that God puts each kiddo into our classrooms for a reason and they are often the ones who teach us. I am so excited to have found your blog and to also now follow it. I loved reading about your reunion and the special bond you know have with Vilma and her family.

    If you get the chance, I would love for you to hop over and visit me.

    Blessings to you,

    Heather's Heart