May 4, 2020 by Loren Balisky
My eyes well-up with tears when loss and unexpected love intermingle. It’s happened several times to me during this pandemic. Perhaps you’ve experienced the same.
Most recently for me, at last Tuesday’s weekly Kinbrace community meeting where residents hosted a Sending Circle (a time to remember and bless the person or family moving from Kinbrace). This Sending Circle was for a senior couple who, after many, many years of forced displacement, finally received permanent, affordable housing. They moved from Kinbrace to their new home on Friday.
There was laughter around the Sending Circle. And there were tears. Mine came when one of the single mothers began to speak her gratitude for “papa” and “mama” but then, putting her hands to her face, cried softly. Her tears and the strong hugs she gave papa and mama spoke to me about that wordless space where loss and unexpected love mix.
Every family around the circle was only half there, beloved others scattered around the world by forced displacement. COVID-19 severely amplifies the loss and fear people feel while separated from family. And, yet, around this circle of unlikely, diverse, fractured families, the words “brother” “sister” “father “mother” were used numerous times.
This vulnerable place, where loss and unexpected love can honestly be felt and expressed by people seeking refugee protection, is sustained by the wide network of donors and volunteers.
The fact that “mama” and “papa” secured a safe and permanent home in the middle of this pandemic, is thanks to the persistence and expertise grounded Kinbrace’s champions.
If you’ve not had a chance to support this vulnerability and change, and would like to, you can start now.