Saturday night we were serving with a team at Parque Chenku in Merida with Pastor Miguel’s church. Then, the inevitable happened. Someone under 4′ tall with the same last name as mine had to go to the bathroom.
With nearly 150 people in attendance, pulling Miguel’s wife Alecia aside was not the greatest idea but was my only option. You won’t find many public parks in the Yucatan with a bathroom. Kary has yet to rig up the back of the truck for such emergencies.
Alecia smiled and put down a five gallon jug of Nestea and said, come with me.
As we walked the short two blocks to her home, we talked about the evening, the big turnout for the program called “Choices” which the group of college students from Saskatchewan had just performed. She was happy. Thankful.
I’ve been to Miguel and Alecia’s house before. I’ve used their bathroom. I was not surprised to see the battered plywood door where an animal had likely gnawed away the base, years before. The duct tape holding the door handle was working just fine. The shower tiles were ancient, but they were clean. There must have been at least eight toothbrushes in a cup next to the sink, a telltale sign of a grandmother who babysits often (two of which, Suri and Elias are in this photo). This is their master bath, their guest bath, the grandkids’ bath, their only bath. Not that there was a bath, just an old shower, but it appeared to be in working order.
Jacqueline stood up after doing her business and surprised me.
“Mommy, look! The toilet is green! I’ve never seen a green toilet. It is so beau-ti-ful.”
I looked at the toilet, water swirling away over cracked enamel.
She then turned to the sink.
“Mommy! The sink is green too, just like the potty! Wow, it is so pretty!”
Yes Jacqueline, you’re right, they do match.
I’m thinking to myself, I wonder what vintage this set is.
Next, the soap.
“Mommy! The soap is pink! It is so pretty with the green sink!”
The three of us walked back to the park, Alecia and I laughing over Jacqueline’s keen bathroom inspection story. Alecia commented that they have lived in this (tiny) home for 27 years. I thought to myself, there are not many people I know who have lived in the same place for that long. Then again, there are not a lot of people I’ve met like Alecia.
I thought to myself how many times I have been prompted by the sight of old things (read: material things) to a point of, ‘I must change this.’
Our first home had baby blue carpet, disco-fleck ceilings, oak dining room railings, green lino kitchen floors, and Parcheesi board carpet in the basement. We changed it all, except, ironically, the avocado-green toilet and sink. I think we decided we could live with it.
Pink bars of soap.
Walking with Alecia, a woman who gives of herself day after day.
And seeing life through the eyes of a five year old.
‘Twas a very good night.