It has been several days since my last post. My wife and two sons are with me in La Ceiba, Honduras, where we are renting a house. Today we got our internet connection established, so we no longer have to go to an internet café to check our emails. The connection is fast enough that I can post again, and I am looking forward to doing much blogging. I am going to use the blog as my primary mechanism for recording information regarding our projects.
But first, I must pause to honor my stepfather, Joseph Upton. He was killed in an automobile accident on Monday, the day that we traveled from Texas to Honduras. I am still shocked and saddened by it. At first, I planned to return to help my mother, but her request was that I stay where I am for now. She said our work was too important, and that my role in it was too central, for me to come home now. I am not sure if these statements are true, but it was very validating of her to say so under the circumstances. I will try not to disappoint.
Tomorrow, July 5th, they will have a memorial service in Houston. Then his body will be cremated and the ashes kept in an urn until we return in August. Then we will travel to "the valley" as it is called. The Rio Grande Valley is not really a valley, but it's the delta where the Rio Grande enters the Gulf of Mexico. My mother's family has a family plot at a cemetery there, where we will intern his ashes.
I am feeling disconnected from my family because of this. My cousins Lidia and Marion have been in Houston helping my mother, as has my father and stepmother who live down the street from her. Other cousins have arrived for the memorial service, and yet I am stuck here in Central America. I have mixed emotions, and sitting down to write this has made them more intense. I feel like I have abandoned my mother, though I talk to her on the phone once or twice a day. I feel as if I were the only family member to not get the "wedding invitation" or the "graduation announcement". In my mind, I know this is not true, and that I am loved and would be welcomed there. But my emotions are feeling left out. This is exacerbated by watching Independence Day fireworks on TV here in Honduras, where no one cares that it is July 4th. I am a stranger in a strange land.
And I know I could have returned for the memorial service and/or other challenges of the last week. But it would have been difficult and expensive, as my mother knew when she told me not to come. I am glad that we will have the chance to honor him later in August.