I am home from work today nursing a head cold and body aches that came about after a vigorous week being a camp counselor again at Royal Family Kids Camp
Dan and I both volunteered a week of our time to be counselors for kids ages 7-11 who are in Foster care here in Douglas and Chelan counties. Our Church sponsors the camp and there were lots of fun activities planned. Most of which involved climbing up and down hills and some sleepless nights only to get up and do it all over again the next day. Through all the mishaps, splinters and aches and pains (I'm talking the Adults, not the kids) it was a successful week.
I could not help but be taken back to my own childhood when I had been selected by the Salvation Army to go to camp because I myself was in a Foster Home. I can vividly remember many moments from that week at camp. I didn't want to go home.
Today, I am still overwhelmed by the Love and connection I felt for so many of these kids. Even the most taxing child in my cabin tugged on my heart the last day. This one little girl was such a handful for all 3 of us counselors in our cabin. She was throwing fits, yelling, running off from us. Plain Awful! But the last day I watched as she ran past me holding on to her blanket that had been given to her from our church. She ran up to this little boy who we found out was her brother. Sadly, we didn't find out until camp was almost over that they were related. We could have helped ensure they spent some time together. It also would have explained why she was always acting out and running off. Anyhow, she runs up to him and he is trying to get away from her but is smiling. She wraps her blanket and arms around him and starts kissing him all over his face. "I Love you" she said to him. "Yeah, Yeah..I know" he said back to her. I couldn't help myself and gave them both a Huge hug. We held onto each other for several seconds. The little girl then told me that this was her brother and that they don't live together. "I don't get to see him too much" she said to me. I told them both that I knew exactly how they both felt.
I was so surprised to feel an enormous amount of personal pain right then. But it wasn't pain at the thought of my own siblings that were not raised together. but instead was thought of my own brother that I don't get to see or talk to. We are adults now and there is no court system keeping us apart. It's our own stubbornness and heartache. I have had 2 dreams about him since that week at camp. Two dreams where he told me that he loved me and that he missed me and that he was sorry for saying such hurtful things to me. He is not the only one at fault. I just don't see an end in sight for us right now. The dam is too big and the hole is too large to fix. Only prayer and time will help. It's nice to visit him in my dreams. I hope and pray that they will be less painful and my tears will be happy ones soon.
Below is an old photo of my brother and I cropped from one of our first "Reunions".