Just Like Me.

 Melese and I take Meazi to school everyday. We get there early and play on the athletic field. When we first walk in, we always see a man that works at the school. From the very first day, Melese has been mysteriously drawn to this man. Jose (not his real name) is an older gentleman, maybe in his fifties, from Mexico. When Melese sees him he shouts, "Hi! Hi Jose!" Jose walks over, his crossing guard stop sign in hand, and says good morning to Melese. The second day Melese threw his arms around Jose and gave him an enormous hug. Unheard of for Melese who will barely give a smile to dear friends we have known for years. One day, after a similar hug, Jose kept holding Melese as he stopped carpool traffic. Melese helped him 'work' and talked all about it for the rest of the day. There is just something about this man that Melese is drawn to.

After a few mornings of this mutually adorable greeting, Jose told us a little bit about his family. His wife lives in Mexico with their two children, a son and a daughter. Recently his kids had to drop out of school because it was too dangerous to attend. The violence from the Mexican mafia has caused their neighborhood to become a war zone. He showed me pictures of his adorable children. His son is named after him.

Later at home, I was telling Meazi about him. I said that I felt so sad for him, and for his family. She said, "Which part of the story is the saddest to you mom?" I said, "I guess that he can't see his family Meazi, that is the saddest to me."

She said, "Just like me. I can't see my family. He's just like me."

Maybe this is what Melese and Jose have in common. Maybe this is why they hug each other like that each day.

Maybe he just misses his son, the one who doesn't get dropped off at the beautiful, progressive, expensive school, surrounded by guards and kindly employees who could watch out for him.

And what about Meazi? Is she, like him, just working and waiting until a time when she can see her family again?

Please pass the Dalwhinne.
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