"No legacy is so rich as honesty." - William Shakespeare
Now, a legacy is said to be a gift of money or
property left to someone in a will. Also, anything
handed down from the past, as from an Ancestor. Well,
this legacy was a gift.
Nuestras Pequenas Rosas is a home for girls in
San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Central America. Our Little
Roses is A fitting name as a rose is a symbol of love.
The home’s locale is, well, where it needs to be.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the
western hemisphere, with fifty-three per cent of the
people living in poverty. The only alternative for
young girls who were abandoned and such was women’s
prison. There are homes for boys but there weren’t for
girls until Nuestras Pequenas Rosas.
My stepfather is the Episcopal bishop of Western New York. He and
my mom have been directly involved with the home for a few years
now but they have sponsored one of these rosas for about eleven
years. The young rosa is thirteen now…I’ve known of
her for ten years. I finally met her during a recent
journey to Honduras. That was something I couldn’t
wait to do. You hear of people sending money to help
but to meet and become friends with her you couldn’t
put a price on. There are many rosas there and they
range from 3-20 years old. The younger ones just
assumed I was a walking jungle gym and the older ones,
well, they just needed a friend. Someone to play
basketball with or a card game. Someone to just share
time. Before this trip I was open and knew my heart
would go out to one due to what I’ve heard from my mom
and sister. I just didn’t expect it would be all
seventy of them.
My journey was expected to be four days at the
home and then over to a Honduran Bay Island known as
Roatan. From there it would be back to the US. We
would have to say our ‘see you laters’ before we
ventured to the island. I don’t like saying ‘goodbye.’
I mean…you just never know. Tears started flowing
right away with most of the girls. You see, at this
point our return was undetermined.
One of the rosas that I had befriended had mentioned
she wanted to give me something. So during our ‘last’
day she pulled me aside. “I made you something,” she
tells me. She hands me a necklace. It had a leatherish
string and hanging on it was a colored glass piece.
She used a type of wax to attach the glass piece and
also to form the letter ‘A’ on it. It was beautiful.
I’m not even sure where she acquired the materials to
make such a thing. I then inquired, “What does the ‘A’
stand for?” She looked me right in the eyes and said,”
Amigos…Amigos for life.”
A tear fell as I now had the most precious
necklace in all the world. I’ve only known her for
four days. When she said that…she meant it. Then I
said it, “Amigos for life.” I meant it. It was important.
It was honest.
The rosas then informed us they would wake in
the morning when we departed. Later that evening I
told my traveling companions, being my sister and her
friend, about my necklace. My sister had received a
similar one as well. Our hearts filled with love, we
discussed our morning journey to the island.
How could we leave and enjoy ourselves fully, knowing that these
girls are behind fortress walls?
We had to come back. So, to the island for two days and back for
two was what was decided. In the morning the rosas had not
woke. I already missed their faces. I wondered what
looks those faces would wear when we returned. That
made me smile. As beautiful as a place as where we
were going, I was already looking forward to coming
back. I have friends there.
Roatan Island did not disappoint, however. As
soon as we got to our little resort, I signed right up
for a scuba dive. Mountains of coral are under the
water there. Simply magnificent! When I surfaced, I
started rinsing and organizing my dive equipment when
a diver noticed something fell to the ground. I
reached down to discover it was the pendant with the
‘A’ on it. My necklace had broke. I had checked the
necklace beforehand as I was concerned of it falling
off or breaking. After inspecting, I thought it would
be fine. It had broken in a place I didn’t expect. The
water had come in between the wax and glass, which
made for a smooth break. How could I let this happen
to such a new and important possession?
My sister had some crazy glue with her and
after an hour trying to open it I almost gave up. She
checked her belongings and found another bottle. This
one was a brand new bottle. Go sis with the glue! I
fixed it brilliantly. My heart had fell into my
stomach when it broke. It was a good feeling to get it
back where it belongs. This necklace meant everything
to me. With that situation finally behind, we enjoyed
the island thoroughly for the next day and a half.
During our stay we met a couple who traveled with
dozens of pairs of shoes for children in need. We
didn’t know that when we were telling them about the
home for girls on the mainland. With their generosity,
we would be going back with our bags stuffed with
The morning of our departure…I had shoes but
the necklace had vanished. Where? I wish I could tell
you. I could have lost everything I owned and not
cared as much as losing this. How could I return to
the home now? How I could I lose it after I fixed it?
Questions filled my head. My heart back in my stomach.
That feeling…oh…that feeling. That face…how could I
let my friend down? Have you ever felt like a loser?
Well…I’m the biggest.
Flying over the bay islands was breathtaking,
however, I was saving my breath. I had to tell my new
friend something…something that would take precious
breaths. We arrived back at the home and the other
volunteers were surprised to see us. My mom had made a
comment that we made such a cool statement by ending
our resort time early. Well, we just missed our
friends. I explained to the adults my unfortunate loss
of my possession. They looked at me like…well…like I
expected. Oh, the feeling in my stomach. I knew I had
to tell her I lost it. I knew that was the right thing
to do. I could have just left the country and said
‘thank you’ for the gift. That was not the right thing
to do. That was not honest. I lost it. I lost it.
That’s what happened. I just lost it.
I venture through the grounds to locate my
friend. When I find her somehow I have the guts to
tell her I must talk with her. Time passed and she
finally says, “ Que paso?” I told her to follow me. I
wanted to tell her one on one. It was important to
tell her. I knew she couldn’t make another one. I
couldn’t believe she had made that one. I don’t know…I
just wanted to tell her.
Under these circumstances, I can’t tell you how
hard this was and I could have just left. I guess, by
being there, the girls’ strength had rubbed off on me.
I’m going to tell her.
I told her. I didn’t waste any time. I did it.
Just told her. Did I have time for an explanation? Oh,
no…not even close. Tears fell. Tears fell hard and
plentiful. She ran. She hid. Did I expect that? Yes.
Did I have hope that that wouldn’t happen? Yes. Did
it? Yes. Oh, man. The worst case scenario happened. I
didn’t get a chance to tell her the importance of that
necklace. What it meant to me. I’m writing this
because it meant so much. I couldn’t explain it…I
wanted to tell her about hope, about possessions,
about how a car can’t love you like life can. Well,
that necklace was gone. She made it. This is just bad,
sad and bad.
Hours pass and do you know that feeling in my
stomach? Not better. I couldn’t live with it. I would
go find her. She ran away again when I did. Finally, I
see her sitting down by herself. She was weeping as I
slowly approached. She let me sit. That was good.
Finally, I gingerly asked her to please listen.
“Please,” I begged. “Please just hear me out. Also,
I’m going to speak in English. English only. I want to
make sure I express myself correctly,” I softly said.
I did not waste time with my sensitive moments.
I told her about how I didn’t have to tell her. I told
her why we wanted to come back and not stay on the
island. I explained about honesty…about doing the
right thing. Soon after, tears were falling from my
eyes. When she finally looked up she started crying
again. This time, her tears were for me…not her
sadness for me being an idiot but for my loss of my
precious necklace. I wasn’t expecting that. We were
both crying just because…because this scenario just
stinks. Then we talked about what’s important: Our
moments together. She thanked me for telling her the
truth. I told her thanks for listening because if she
didn’t we would spend my last day thinking about all
this instead of dealing with it. We would miss out on
laughs. Well, we dealt with it.
During our conversation, I had told her a story
of my father. I explained that after his passing, I
carried his money clip everywhere I went. Well, I lost
it on an island as well. That’s ok. It’s ok because we
carry people with us…in our soul…not in a money clip
or a necklace. She understood. She knew what was
important. I also let her know that she had made a
letter of the AlphAbet important to me.
So many people where I live could learn a lot
from my new friend…couldn’t they?
Later, back with my scuba gear and belongings I had
a feeling. A feeling that maybe the necklace is
somewhere…somewhere in my belongings. My sister had a
huge feeling that I just overlooked it. We would
search and search with no avail. Then I searched my
backpack one more time. The necklace was not there but
something else was. Two rings. Two silver rings I
thought I lost years ago.
During this whole incident with the necklace, I
was wondering how it would end. How would this
necklace journey end? When I found the two rings, I
Immediately, I ran around the home to find my
friend again. When I did, I told her what I had found.
I let her know that I only found them because I went
searching for the necklace again. I explained to her
that I always wore these two rings together. “I want
you to wear one and I the other,” I said. She put on
hers and I put on mine. We then laughed about what if
we lose them. It wouldn’t matter. However, she told me
she would still be wearing it when I return. I told
her I would be wearing mine as well.
How can these girls who have been through more
than you could imagine, who have so little, have so
Honesty, love, moments…
Money, possessions, egos…
What’s important to you?
I look forward to my return. I look forward to
continue a legacy. I hope she is doing well.
Amigos For Life.
(i've returned 4 more times...she is doing well... because of you...)
Amigos For Life
honduras trip 2009!!!
missing all of you...