Posted by: Cathy | July 26, 2013

Friends Forever

Best friends - forever.

Best friends – forever.

Earlier this week, we enjoyed a 3 day visit with Delmace’s best friend in Haiti… Dad (Dodd) is a little boy who lived at Wings during the same time period as Delmace – but he was not abandoned by his family (as many kids with disabilities are in Haiti). In fact, Dad’s mom took him back to live with her several months before the 2010 earthquake. Dad is well cared for and loved by his mom, but it is a daily struggle for her as she is a single parent trying to provide for both Dad and his older brother Didi. She wants to keep Dad at home with her, but it’s difficult, as opportunities for handicapped kids are scarce in Haiti. Dad is fortunate that his mom found a school for him to attend, not too far from where they live (there are few schools for kids with disabilities in Haiti, and no such thing as “inclusion”)… But she must transport him to and from school each day (or rely on a relative), which often impacts the hours she can work. Since the summer of 2010, we (my siblings and a close friend) have been helping out Dad’s family by paying the rent on their house. It’s not a large amount of money – about $1000 for the whole year (less than my monthly mortgage payment), but it allows Dad’s mom the security of knowing she can provide a home for her boys, get Dad to school each day, and use the money she can make from her job for their day to day living expenses. I’m not writing this to impress anyone – I’m writing it to point out how a relatively small amount of money can make a huge difference to a family in a developing country. And, in this case, the family includes a little boy who is very important to Delmace…

Sharing a "car cart" at the grocery store

Sharing a “car cart” at the grocery store

Playing Beyblades

Playing Beyblades

Yum! Ice cream!

Yum! Ice cream!

iPad time :)

iPad time 🙂

Being a single parent of a child with a disability is hard in any country, and Dad’s mom was probably happy to get a bit of a break for a few days! We picked Dad up on Saturday afternoon and brought him back up to Wings to spend a few days with us. Like Delmace, all the kids at Wings know Dad from his time living here, and they were all happy and excited to have him around for the weekend. Before heading back to Wings, we stopped at the grocery store, and Delmace was so happy to have Dad be able to share a “car cart” with him! When he first got to Boston in 2010, every time we’d go grocery shopping, he’d seek out those “car carts” with seats for 2 kids. He’d always tell me that he was saving the other seat for his best friend, Dad 🙂 The boys had a great time all weekend. They played Transformers, toy cars, and Beyblades. They had movie evenings (Rio and Kung Fu Panda 2), and giggled and wrestled each night as they shared a bed. We made pancakes for breakfast, and threw an ice cream party for all the kids (funded with money from a student in my classroom – thanks, Will!). And we spent a glorious day at a luxury hotel – breakfast buffet, sun & fun in the pool, and a poolside luncheon. One of Delmace’s other favorite playmates/brothers, Jozye, was able to join us for the pool day too.

2 boys in a pool

2 boys in a pool

Splashing around

Splashing around

Dad underwater

Dad underwater

Me & Delmace underwater

Me & Delmace underwater

Dad & Jozye in the pool

Dad & Jozye in the pool

Poolside photo at the end of the day...

Poolside photo at the end of the day…

Both Delmace and Dad fell asleep in the van on the way back to Dad’s house… Delmace woke up (barely) to hug his friend good-bye.  Good-bye until next summer. It’s sad that they can only see each other once a year – but no matter how much time passes, I have the feeling that it won’t ever matter. They will always be the best of friends.

Post pool hugs in the van

Post pool hugs in the van

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