Halil. Turkish. Married to Gül and father of sweet baby Yasmine. Lover of flowers who covers our table with garden blossoms whenever he senses a special occasion. A restaurant waiter caught in the cyclical tornado of the tourist year, Halil (and Gül, too, who is a cook) work non-stop through the season. Not wanting to leave his family for more plentiful off-season work, he finds what he can in Kaş in the winter. Time then to play backgammon with other men, and Halil willingly includes Curt with his local friends. Our family and guests—well, he takes them in as his own. It is “Momi” in Turkish to this lively, open young man. Halil worries some for the future and dreams for his little family. But he bounces, like some lively melody pours out from his core to give rhythm to his gait.
Tahir. The newest of the lot, just a year older than Dan and Eda. From Pakistan, he is another who guards our building. Trained in criminology, he longs for a position in his field. Just like Cait. Meanwhile he works 12-hour shifts, often seven days a week, watching and serving. His tenderness towards Dad and comfort around wheelchairs and walkers opened doors to learn that his mother suffered and died with MS. Like a few others, he loves to drop by to borrow DVDs, and to talk. Wants to know of our faith, and shares elements of his Islam. High hopes his family will arrange his marriage while he is home this month. So far he’s only named me “Mom” on a birthday card, but when he left on holiday he wanted a photo of his “family” here to share with those at home.
The first three—of course they call me “Mom.” High privilege to belong to them. Pawan, Halil, Tahir—well, do I just appear more motherly as I expand, wrinkle and sag? (My friend Chom, from Korea, longs to be fatter for she believes that softness in an older woman speaks of love and wisdom. Come to think of it, she, too, calls me "Mom," though she is older than me. For her it is the address for a spiritual mentor.) Or is it something else flowing through those cracks? Such admirable young men, all three. Hard-working, generous and sacrificial supporters of their own families. Elements of lonely longing in each journey. Diverse in faith, language, heritage. High privilege to be chosen by them.
Lord God, Father-by-adoption, thank you for this grace, pure gift from You. Bless them all, natural-born and born-of-love with ever-deeper knowledge of Your loving engagement in their lives.