Saturday, August 19, 2006

saying goodbye

there's something so definite about saying goodbye. professors and certain friends refuse to utter the words, instead proclaiming "see you later." but today was a day for goodbye.

several workers, who we recently found out are in the country illegally, relinquished their positions today, moving forward to who knows what. i took out one of the guys, who bears the nickname "locisimo" to lunch yesterday. we have worked together for four years. i always knew that even if i was having a bad day, he could lift my spirits by his silliness and ability to lend an ear to the concealed conversations in spanish, we would periodically have. he has sacrificed so much for his kids' welfare. he recognizes in them, an intelligent, inquisitive nature and he doesn't want them to "end up like him." i mull this over, munching on chips and salsa, wondering if they will ever know how much he has given up for them, how he has amended his life in favor of theirs. perhaps they will resent him for being an absentee dad, not understanding why they haven't seen him in four years, turning a cold shoulder toward him when at long last he returns. i grieve his departure, but have known its day was coming for a little bit now. today, smiles replace tears and i go give him a bear hug, knowing i will never get to crack jokes in spanish with him anymore. our paths have diverged.

people say goodbye in different ways- mar. made a point to walk up to my desk so i could hug her, telling her she's a good worker- goodbye. mir. left without saying goodbye to anyone. i easily say and easily believe "Dios te cuide" but in the car, when i'm alone, i let the mourning begin anew, fresh and potent, letting the injustice pierce me thoroughly. crying out to God to take care of them, they who have been such diligent workers, now forced to stand on the side of the road, waiting for work to roll by in a shiny cadillac.

before i left, locisimo told me he got a call from a warehouse and has an interview. i see the hand of Dios sheltering my friend, and i smile.


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