HEAVEN Magazine Fall 2012
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
In the beginning, she asked me what I was afraid of. We were walking along the Playa de Pi単ones and the sun was setting behind us. Waves expired on the beach, and our long shadows pointed toward the sea.
She came into my life quite abruptly, and when she told me her story about her boyfriend and her tumultuous relationship with him, my heart went out to her and her daughter, and I sincerely wanted to help. We went to R. J. Bentley’s across the street from the campus chapel and I ordered the sampler (a combination of fried calamari, grilled jerk fingers, cheese sticks, cheddar skins, and onion rings), and she ordered a beer. She told me that her brother was a lawyer and her sister was married to one and that her parents were both refugees escaping from Vietnam during the Vietnam War (called the American War in Vietnam) and that her name, if I was wondering, was French, because the French had established a colony there a long time ago. I pointed out to her that Maia is actually Greek and Gabrielle is probably Hebrew, but she insisted that both were French. She said that her great-grandfather had married a French woman of the old aristocracy (I asked, “Which aristocracy was that?” and she responded, “The old one!”) and that was why her eyes were blue.
She had a wisp of blonde hair that fell over her face, which she constantly adjusted with her fingers. Otherwise, her hair was homogenously brown. I asked her if there was a story behind the blonde streak and she looked at me a bit
embarrassed and said, “No, no story. Why do you ask?” to
which I said, “You always seem to have a story,” and then she smiled awkwardly for a bit and started talking to me about what it was like growing up in San Jose (the “408”).
How meaningless! Are the ‘precious’ moments in our lives just patterned events set on a loop? Do we all run this gamut
because we are afraid of dying? We must experience all of life’s intricacies because someday we know it will end…
I remember thinking to myself, staring at that stream, “Why don’t grown‐ups build a raft and sail this thing down to the
river?” ‐ I figured when I grew up and made some money, I’d do just that.