Last Wednesday I said another goodbye to one of the young mothers I met at His Hands. One of the staff asked me if I felt particularly more sad because I had spent more time with her and connected with her more than the others. I did feel sad, but more so out of a sense of lost time. I felt like there was so much more I could have done...that I was just beginning to get to know her. But I suppose that is how it often will be.
One of the things I regret not doing earlier is baking with her. I had the idea of doing so with the HH mothers soon after she arrived, but never got around to it for various reasons, the main one being that it was difficult for me to get the supplies. But one afternoon as I was in the nursery playing with the infants, another volunteer called and asked me to go next door to help translate for HZ, the young mother, who was baking cookies with a missionary lady.
I was greeted by the smell of baked goods in the oven and the sight of little drops of oatmeal cookie dough waiting on pans. We spent the afternoon talking and sharing about our lives, mostly the life of the missionary. But I discovered that one of the favorite things HZ liked to do was to bake things. Thinking of how I love baking as well, I was a bit shocked with the realization that I had let the opportunity of sharing it with her slip by without knowing it. I told her that next time I would come and teach her how to make a cake with carrots.
But "next time" became the day after she gave birth to a baby girl. So no carrot cake.
I knew we were both disappointed. I was told later that even as she was on the way to the hospital she lamented that we didn't get to make the cake-made-from-carrots. Later in the week I went back to the nursery and met her baby girl. She was so sweet, just like her little mother.