Monday, January 14, 2013

of funerals, housework, and crazy-distance-runners

"Actually, I really enjoy sweeping!" -Isaac Livesay
As we shared before the new year, Geronne's papa passed away.  There are lots of cultural things that play into funerals and the planning of said funerals.  Due to those things it took a couple of weeks for Geronne and her many siblings to gather the funds to pay for the funeral and burial of their father. We were floored by the amount she had to come up with and wondered how in the world it could cost that much.  As the saying here goes, 'the dead bury the living'.  The funeral finally took place yesterday.

Geronne has been gone all but three days of the last fourteen.  Ultimately this is a very good thing for Livesay kids and parents. We love the woman and we want her to take as much time away from us as she needs, whenever she wants. It gives us a chance to see, remember, acknowledge that there is one singular reason our household runs as well as it does and that reason is Geronne.

The amount of planning it takes just to keep up with laundry kind of shocked me.  Laundry can only be done when there is city power (EDH) - Troy is ever controlling of what happens when there is no city power. Laundry is at the bottom of twelve things we are not allowed to do with  battery power. Geronne has it all down to an art form. I struggled to keep up with her masterful techniques. The kids took turns helping with sweeping and dishes. We reduced the mopping schedule from every third day to every never day.  The dust in Haiti during the dry season is mind-numbing. It takes about two hours for something that was dusted to have enough dust to write a message in it.  She works a few hours a day and makes it look perfect and easy.  We all worked a few hours a day and it never seemed finished or all that clean.

We called Geronne and a pastor friend from LaDigue numerous times during the week to confirm the funeral location and date.  The date got pushed back the longer it took for the money to be paid. Geronne was distracted and gave vague descriptions of the church.  The pastor friend said "Catholic church, near the park".  We'd been to that church before, it was easy to find. We sat in the park for a half hour yesterday waiting for the Pastor friend to arrive.  Finally Troy called him and he said his bus had broken down but "wi, wi" it IS the large Catholic church directly across from the park.

We went in and sat down toward the back of a huge church.

I leaned over to Troy and said, "I don't see anyone from LaDigue that I recognize."  Troy said, "They are probably all seated in front."  We sat longer.  I leaned over to say, "Every person entering is not a face from LaDigue, Troy."  He stood up to be sure there was a casket in the front.  He sat back down.  "Maybe we should ask someone who this funeral is for", I said.  Troy gave me a look.  Apparently asking who the dead person is  - that is not a thing.  Troy was above asking that.  I was deciding the correct use of Kreyol to respectfully (and very quickly and quietly) ask. Upon further thought I decided against it too. The service continued on, we continued sitting there like dummies.

wrong church, wrong funeral
After about ten minutes of seeing how much French we could translate for one another we went into some little side room of the church to call another friend from LaDigue. We then learned that it was not at a Catholic church, nor was it by the park, nor was anything our pastor friend told us correct.  We drove to the right place and went in for the last 10 minutes of the right funeral.

We're thankful we made it in time for Geronne to see and know we love and care about her.  We're glad that she doesn't know when we got there.

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Today, as I write this (Monday) Barry is running his FOURTH marathon in a row.  My mind cannot even go there.  The SINGLE marathons I have run were all followed by misery and days and days of sedentary living. To get up day after day with wrecked muscles and joints and keep running is mind blowing to me.  Tomrrow (Tuesday) he takes one day of rest before beginning the fifth of twelve total marathons.  I am so hopeful that some deep-pocket philanthropist or big news outlet notices this insanity and brings new attention and $ to Barry's cause.  I am so grateful to all of you that are already plugged into what goes on at Heartline and have given to this effort and encouraged Barry. Maternal health matters, Barry obviously believes that.

This video was taken yesterday in the middle of day three.

1 comment:

Lisa Mitchell-Bennett said...

I love this on so many levels. I was just sitting down to write a post on my new blog http://borderexpat.blogspot.com/ about housekeepers and housework when I read your post. Thanks for your ever-entertainig and inspiring words.