OK so this didn’t begin as a YAG story. It began on the same day of the YAG and was one of the two mysterious happenings that changed the faces of my present and of my future. I invite you to pray for me that it be a change that stays with me forever.
This first mysterious happening began with an invitation. Our church, the Cayman Islands Baptist Church, hosted over 30 pastors from Honduras and Cuba for a weekend of continued education and training. It was a retreat and the visitors were hosted by church families and went to full days of training by American and Caymanian pastors (translated to Spanish) and the pastor of our sister church in Cuba (translated into English). Two of these gentlemen were hosted by my parents and I shared a few memorable meals with them, sharpening iron with iron and refining my own language skills. In church on Sunday the whole contingent treated us to a heavy baritone rendition of a well-known praise song in spanish and Pastor Randy introduced a few of them by name.
Enter Walter. Or should I say, THE WalterS. Walter Bush Snr. and Walter Bush Jr. from the First Baptist Church of La Ceiba. The name Bush hit me like a cold water drop from an a/c unit and I turned with eyes lit up to my mom. She was smiling and wiggled her eyebrows at me. After service ended and our church family gathered together to catch up I walked up to a YAGgie girlfriend of mine speaking to two vaguely familiar men. As I came into earshot I heard one of them say to her “Our roots are in Cayman but we wouldn’t have a clue as to where to look to find our family here”. On approach the older man lifted eyes identical to mine – a rare mix of hazel and green – and I said “You must be the Bushes”.
Thus began an animated conversation with my cousins. Mr. Walter Snr. is the image of what I have always imagined my grandfather to look like. My mom confirmed it to me – his height, his eyes, his aura of calm is much like her father. Walter Jr. and I spoke at length of what it is to be a Bush – the satellite ears, our unique battle as a family with compulsiveness, the addictions that our compulsiveness can drag us into, our family attachment to mutton peppers, our family recipe for our famous pepper sauce (IMAGINE!), the power of our personalities. We were invited to visit them and exchanged email addresses and parted ways with smiles deep down in our hearts.
And now the Walters have called… on the day that I dream of handing out cupcakes in La Ceiba.