I first met Danny at my sisters 12U Softball Nationals Tournament, down in Virginia. He is an orphan from Latvia, and one of the girls on my sisters team's family, adopted him for a few weeks in the summer. He did not speak a lot of English, but he knew basic words. I remember seeing him, and him being so quiet.
He was introduced to me and my other friend John, by his new father-like companion, who was the real father of the girl on my sisters team. John and I got to know Danny really fast, and we quickly became good friends. He didn't know a lot of words, but the words he knew, meant so much. He knew both of our names, and he also knew Softball, iPad, Firetruck, Lights, the colors, the numbers, and Love.
I remember that we created a handshake, and I'll never forget it. We would interlock our left hands, and then bring our heads together to touch. Even with a few words, the communication between us two was immense. We also used to hang out during the games, and then after the games, in 100+ degree heat, we then went into the pool together. We used to play games like Monkey in the Middle, and Dive In. We created stuff on the fly, and we got to know what life was like in an orphanage in a not-so-great European country. We also got to learn a little Russian, which is always handy you know.
He then gave me something, that I love so much, and I still have to this day. On the second to last day, I was siting there watching the game, and the heat was so bad. Danny had on a white sweatband around his right arm, and he had another one. Without asking, he ripped open the package, and slipped the other one on my right arm. I continued to wear it that whole day, and then the last day that I saw him.
That last day was seriously rough on me. I got to know this kid, who has had a terrible go at it, and we were able to share some funny times and memories with him, and now he is going to go back to his home country, and I will never see this seven year old again. I started to get real emotional after the last game. We took some pictures, and then after that he started to walk away. I yelled out Danny, and he ran back to me. I got down on one knee to get down to his height, and we hugged for several minutes. We then did our handshake one last time, and then he got into the car, and drove off. I would never see this sweet little boy ever again.
Well now I have gotten some excellent news! The family is getting him again this summer, and I will see him again in three months! I am so excited, I can't even believe it. That is why this was the subject of this Memory Monday. I was sitting on this idea for a while, but I never wrote about it, always saving it for the perfect time, and now I am so happy that I am able to write that I will be seeing Danny again!
I will be wearing my wristband again, you can bet that, and now I will have to get him something that he can wear around when he goes back home. Maybe an Islanders hat perhaps? I have thought about it. They have also expressed interest in adopting him and his younger sister for good. If they did that, that would be insanely cool!
I hope that this was a good Memory to read, and that you all can relate to something like this.
Did you enjoy this story? Have you ever had something like this happen in your life? Would you miss him like I did? Would you be happy that you are seeing him again?
Quotes of the Day: "The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." - Leonardo da Vinci
"You have succeeded in life, when all you really want, is only what you really need." - Vernon Howard
"Love has no errors, for all errors are the want for love." - William Law