Today, as Anahi and I drove towards my sister’s house in Bella Vista before noon, I realized again how many people grill stake for lunch. I saw smoke going up in various back yards. Families come together to grill and share. In most Paraguay's settings, life slows down on Sundays. Groceries stores are closed and people look forward to their Sunday get together. Coming together with friends and family on Sunday, is a tradition Julie and I have embraced since arriving in Paraguay.
There are very few restaurants in the area. Eating out usually means a treat or is saved for special occasions. Some forty thousand people live in the area known as Colonias Unidas. There are probably no more than five decent restaurants in the area, and only three are open on weekends. Eating out is not much of an option.
As I drove to Bella Vista, and spent a few hours with my sister’s family, I realized again, the gift of family. I am blessed for having my immediate family living within minutes from my place. They have been by my side since the accident, supporting and offering their love. There is a new understanding of love between us. My youngest sister Nila has been living in my house since the accident, helping me raise and care for Anahi. Not only my immediate family, but my church family has become very dear as well. Last weekend people at church brought food and after the service threw me a surprised birthday party.
As I was having lunch with my sister’s family and friends today, I thanked God for his love and those close to me. I could not help and think about Julie and Timothy and the love we shared for so many years and the times of grilling out. Julie would usually make the salad, or bake a pie while Timmy would help me ignite a fire and bombard me with questions.
These are some thoughts from noon today. Julie wrote a lot on this blog about the culture and the traditions of this beautiful country. I have somehow been ignoring life outside of my little world of grieving for over a year now. Today I realized in a special way, that I am alive, and I have desire to start grilling for friends and family again. I want to get back to cherishing this culture, develop new traditions and allow dreams to find a place in my heart as they have in the past.