Many of you know Marina from previous posts.
She is my life coach, my love, my children’s second mother. Everything about Marina is good. I’m sorry it’s great. Marina is an angel, and I am so fortunate she is my angel.
I have known Marina for 6 1/2 years, the same amount of time my daughter Cynthia has spent time on planet Earth. Marina not only keeps our children whom she hugs and kisses and loves wholeheartedly, but she also plants mint, daffodils, zinnias in our yard; she cuts my childrens’ hair; she hangs pictures in our house; she texts me pictures of the kids playing when I am out of town; and, after a year of patiently waiting, she bought a dust ruffle for my bed.
So, that’s Marina. Her basic role in my life is taking care of our family. Does she have any idea how grateful I am for her? I pray so.
Marina does not drink. In fact, I have heard from her son she is adamantly opposed to alcohol. Born in Mexico, Marina is one of a handful of Hispanics in our community who is Baptist. The majority of the Hispanic population in Edgecombe County is Catholic.
While never mentioning the alcohol ‘disconnect’ between us, I am very sensitive to not coming in the door with an armful of wine when I arrive home.
My husband calls me a hypocrite, but I have noticed he puts the Cava bottle down before he greets her in the evening.
Marina is no dummy, and believe me, when I say she has a very clear picture of our love of wine. It’s just as evident to her as it is to the people who pick up our recycling (or anyone who drives by our house when the recycling is on the curb, for that matter).
However, I try very hard not to disrespect Marina by shoving my love for the juice in her face. In fact, I don’t think I have ever opened a bottle or poured a glass in front of Marina in the entire time I have known her.
Tonight, when I got home, I left my Cava bottle at the back door so that Marina wouldn’t see me bringing it in the house.
We hugged, and before she went home, I asked her to look at the website documenting my church’s mission trip to Honduras. For those who are interested in reading all about what we have compared to our brothers and sisters in third world countries, please check out www.downeastpastor.blogspot.com for the most inspirational reading I have had in months.
I pulled up the photographs of the Honduran children and the waterfalls and the church that had one Coleman lantern as its light. She looked with intensity and she placed her hand on my knee as I scrolled down the page to show her more pictures.
My two favorite sentences in the blog are “Do we have too much? Yes. Do they have too little? Yes?”
Do I feel guilty coming home with a bottle of wine in hand to a spacious, heated home with two healthy children sleeping peacefully in their beds?
I’m not going to answer that question.
When Marina walked out the door, she did the same thing she always does when she leaves. She hugged me, she said, “God bless you and I love you so much.”
Does Marina know what it is like to live in a country where children are raising children in a room with no insulation and people don’t have what they need to live?
Does Marina see me walk in the back door and place the wine out of her sight?
Does Marina say to her family their love of wine is sinful and they have way too much?
I don’t know.
But what I do know is Marina loves my family like God loves the world, without judgment and with all of the grace one can give.
She knows that none of us deserve what we have. We just have it, and we should be thankful.
I am so thankful to know Marina.