Sunday, July 24, 2011

Memories—the bench

Orphanage bench

It took us nearly all day to find it. But finally, there it was. The orphanage where I met Erinna.

We walked in the front door and no one was around. It was eerily silent. Had we finally made it, only to find the place suddenly abandoned? We went down the first hall to the right, just as I had done nearly every day for a month 18 years ago. Up the same stairs, to the door to Erinna's old rooms. Did I dare just walk in?

I knocked, then opened the door.

There, under the window, was the bench.

The bench where I sat with Erinna on my lap the second day we came to visit. She had run straight up to me, with her arms up, saying, "Mama! Mama!"

The bench where we sat every day to get her dressed to go back to the hotel with us for the afternoon. They insisted that she put on layers and layers of clothes before going out into the cold.

Funny how that one bench nearly overwhelmed me with memories!

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