Monday, August 18, 2008

Surprise visit from Ja Man

Ja Man and Stacey playing street hockey.
I am nearly always the first one up to greet the new day in this household. It is a sacred time for me. It is the only solitude I get each day.
I read, write my blog entry, wander around the yard, hand feed my little Pomeranian her breakfast, etc. And, as it is early, I certainly never expect company.
To my surprise one recent morning, the door bell range before 7 am. I opened the door and stared at the excited teenager staring in an inquiring way at me.
Ta da!! After a few seconds I recognized the visitor. He was now a grown-up Ja Man --formerly a little South Korean boy that had stayed with us for six months about three years ago.
Ja Man had sprinted from the local Husky Station to our house -- about two and a half kilometres. He was winded and could hardly speak. His family was on a Rocky Mountain bus tour -- this as part of their summer holiday from South Korea. The bus had stopped at the Husky Station and at that point Ja Man recognized the surroundings -- realized he was close by and raced over to see if we still lived here.
I drove him back to the Husky Station, where his family was anxiously waiting for him to return. There was only long enough to exchange brief greetings with his father, mother, younger brother and baby sister. Still, it was a thrilled for me. Sadly, this was taking place in one of the few rather bleak unattractive settings in Sicamous -- the Husky Station truck stop parking lot.
Ja Man brought this household a lot of joy during the six months he was with us. I doubt that a day went by that he didn't create at least one laugh out loud moment in our day.
Stacey our Border Collie was just a young dog then and the little boy and Stacey shared a lot of the same hyper spirit in their endeavours.
They also shared a few quiet times. One of those rare moments gave us an unforgettable image. While he was with us, Ja Man experienced his first Christmas, as his family is Buddhist. Can you guess how excited an 11 year-old boy would be with all the decorations and gifts that were about? When Jack and I came out to the living room early, early on Christmas morning, we found Ja Man and the Border Collie entwined with one another, sleeping under a comforter on the couch. Ja Man had simply not been able to stay another night in his room when all the excitement was in the living room -- and of course there was the whole Santa thing.
Our neighbour had written out all the "To Ja Man From Santa" gift tags as the little guy knew our writing well.(And we had gone over-the-top with gifts for him.) Fortunately, we were able to slide the Santa things under the tree while he and the dog slept.
The tour bus was ready to leave as I arrived at the Husky Station with Ja Man. The entire episode, from door bell ringing to waving good-bye, took less than 15 minutes. But it was a powerful re-connect for me.
When I got back to the house, Jack was just getting up. He didn't really believe me when I told him Ja Man had been for a visit.

No comments: