Saturday, November 9, 2013

Habra Espanyol?

It started as a gentle rain. The trees rustled in the breeze shaking off the fine water droplets much like a dog shaking off the water from it's coat. The windshield wipers on my car were set to intermittent. They swiped across my view every 5 seconds to scoop the droplets and clear my line of vision. Soon I would have to reset them to move the water off faster as the rain increased in it's intensity.

Beneath a tree on the left side of the road, stood a young woman seeking shelter from this storm. The rain was denied finding her beneath this leafy tree while she waited on the school bus that would leave her son which she would escort to their home.

My destination was across the street directly opposite from where this young woman stood. I was going to stop in at Pat's for a short visit. As I turned into Pat's driveway, the storm seemed to lunge forth pelting the streets with a deluge of water. The young woman was no longer being sheltered. The rain was breaking through those leafs and pounding against her. I quickly backed my car down the driveway and motioned for her to come and stand beneath the carport. Smiling though the rain, she darted across the street and beneath the shelter of my friends carport. The rain continued it's onslaught, heavy and relentless, the streets were soon covered. Peering through this downpour, I motioned the young woman out of the way so I could pull my car beneath the carport. She moved to the side, still being protected from the rain while I pulled in beside of her. Motioning her to get in the car, I told her we could wait beside the road for the bus. 

It was when she tried communicating with me, that I found she spoke very little English. My new friend was Cuban and my Spanish is nonexistant. In her broken English, she explained she was waiting on her son to arrive via the school bus.

Through the pouring rain, the bus stopped and her son was greeted by his mother who dashed from my car to where he was climbing down into the rain from the bus.  She secured him in the back seat of my car and I drove her to her house which is on the same street as I live but further down the road. Abby was able to communicate her name and her thankfulness for my coming to her rescue. 

Occasionally as I'm driving through the neighborhood I see Abby walking to and from the bus stop. A few days ago Abby stopped in. I wasn't home but the husband was and they were able to have a conversation in Spanish. He told me about her when I got back home and he said she would stop in again.

Today Abby arrived once again and this time with a friend and a big bowl of food. It is her anniversary and her family was having a BBQ. She wanted to bring me some food. She knew I was having surgery but she thought it was next Thursday. She wanted to apologize for visiting but I made sure she knew I was happy to see her and thanked her effusively for the food she bought. 

I only wish I could speak Spanish. As she spoke with the husband, I could understand a few sentences then as the conversation turned, I lost the track and sat quietly until the husband could translate for me. 

She told my husband she thought I was a very nice lady. I'm always amazed that people can come from another country not knowing this language and find their way to supporting themselves and coping with all the strangeness they must encounter here. Would I have the guts to do the same? Would I travel to another country to live not knowing anyone but my husband and child? I try to imagine how I would feel and from that I treat them accordingly.  She has an eight year old son, exactly Carrie's age. I think I might have found someone for Carrie to spend some time with when she is here with me. I'll get with Abby and arrange some play time for them. 

i can remember when my mother in law and I would walk around her apartment complex in Arizona. As we walked she would point at things and tell me in Spanish the names while I would reply in English. Her English was much better then my Spanish.  Her grandchildren were amazed to hear her speak English. She was never comfortable talking to her family in English but with me she didn't have a choice. I knew no Spanish so she was forced into speaking to me in English. 

To this day, I wish I were bilingual. I would have liked to speak either Spanish or Italian. While in Italy, the husband could communicate quite easily with the Italians by using his Spanish. He was able to understand Italian as they are both Latin based languages. My Italian mother  could converse with the Spanish people in the same way. I am always impressed by anyone that is bilingual. Impressed and envious of their ability.

It's time for another Percocet. I'll be unavailable for coherent typing for about 3 hrs. 

I'm done here for now!

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