Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Ayana!

I wrote this piece last week on my sister Ayana's birthday while in Nicaragua. Enjoy.

Sitting out in my friend’s backyard gazing at the palm trees and the red flowers that are blooming in Managua, Nicaragua on my sister Ayana’s 26th birthday brings mixed emotions. I’m happy that I’m celebrating her birthday but saddened that it’s my families second year without her being here with us. Ayana passed away September 22nd, 2007 due to her numerous medical complications at the age of 24. Doctors told us when she was born to my Aunt Doretha who later died of AIDS that Ayana wouldn’t see the age of 2. God showed them.

My Mother adopted my baby sis not wanting her to be in the institutions that they would have stuck her in. Although Ayana couldn’t walk, talk or do anything for herself due to the severity of her brain damage but she had a spirit full of life. I can’t explain it but I know what unconditional love feels like from being in her presence. Her eyes lit up my life and her gorgeous smile made me happy even on my darkest days.

So I decided to take a trip to visit friends this year and for some reason every time I scheduled to come to Nicaragua my schedule would get hectic or my money would be funny. When I woke up this morning I knew that Ayana wanted me here on her birthday to see the beautiful mountains, the breath taking Lake Managua that goes on for miles, palm trees and plants that I’ve never seen before. She wanted me to experience new adventures and embark on another journey.

One thing that kept a smile on my face during this time besides spending time with Lia and her husband Johnnie is the smile of their son Noah’s face. His spirit is so full of life and his giggles make my biological clock jiggle. I was supposed to be around new life instead of mourning the death of my sister’s life. I sense Ayana here, she wants to be celebrated and when I smell the fresh flowers in the air out here in Central America I know it’s her swirling around me.

I know she is free and doing all things that she could never do. Even looking at Noah I remember that Ayana could never crawl or take baby steps. All of the things that he’s doing. His language is increasing as he can understand both English and Spanish. A lot of times grownups get stuck on what and who has been lost instead of celebrating new life or the fact that they woke up this morning and in my case writing this story in one of the most scenic and serene backyards that I’ve personally seen at peace.

I know Lia and Johnnie felt bad that they had to work but if anything the time I have alone (well I also have a little 10 month old at my side named Noah) gave me time to reflect and write. Get things in order, pray and meditate more, prepare mentally for my next journey which is my move back east. This week I was forced to stay still for a little bit and everyone needs that time. Their internet was down and I didn’t even freak out about, no one has access to my cell phone because I didn’t select the international package. So the inaccessibility has been a pure joy.

Ayana Doretha Wills will always be missed, life is hard when you’re asked how’s all of your sisters, or how many do you have and that dreadful answer escapes my mouth that I have 4, one is deceased. But I have prayed on it and I know it was her time to go with her failing health and those bright eyes fading away as they didn’t have the same spark in them. God has healed me, I didn’t want to be stuck on mourning my sister’s life and she didn’t want me too either. But I certainly miss her. I now know she is able to travel, walk, talk, embrace, kiss loved ones and breathe without machines. No more beeping sounds panicking when they would slow down or flat line because she stopped breathing a couple of times. She is whole and at peace.
I’m at peace as I gaze into Noah’s eyes and watch him bounce up and down when I walk into a room. Nicaragua has quieted my spirit as I was working triple time and didn’t have a quiet moment to think about my move to Northern VA in the summer. It has helped prepare me for the next chapter in life which will bless me even more and my guardian angel named Ayana will see to it.

Lia and Johnnie thank you for opening your doors to me and Mr. Noah thanks for letting (Aunty Re) hug and kiss up on you. He reminded me that one day I will be blessed with children. Lia and Johnnie you both are an inspiration to me as I thought after my last relationship that I was done trying but now I know it’s not up to me and God wants me to be blessed with a husband who will care for me like Johnnie does for you Lia, a beautiful family and to have a closeness that you both share with your son Noah.


Brooke said...

Wow Serena, this really touched my heart. I can relate, as I have a cousin that my mother raised to the age of 6, and she has cerebral palsy. She can't walk, talk or do anything for herself either. She's 18 now, and although she can't speak or walk, I know she has a full, Godly spirit. I can't imagine a day when she won't be here, so I know your loss was devastating for you.

But how good is God that he healed your heart and mended your spirit. Your vacation sounded like a renewal, a spiritual cleansing, and I'm happy you finally took the vacation you needed to remember and honor life. Thank you for sharing your reflections with us, you're a blessing!

Serena W. said...

Hey Brookey!!!!! Thank you so much. It was a rejuvenation to say the least and the next trip like it I have to take for two weeks. Everyone needs a vacation, but also one that will fill their spirit. I had no idea this trip would do it but it did.

I miss Ayana with all my heart and I never wanted to imagine the day when she would be physically gone. But God is a healer and he is working all through my family, especially my Mom as she is naturally struggling with the loss.

God bless your Mom for what she did. It's a tough job but the love that their kind of spirits has is truly unconditional. Cherish every moment you have with your cousin :)

I'm so happy that I touched you and anyone else who is reading this piece. Have a wonderful Mothers Day Aunty Brooke :)