When my dad died, and my mom decided to move to our current place off residence, she realized that she needed help and not just a nanny that comes in the morning and leaves before dinner, but a live-in housekeeper who could help raise me with good values and morals. After a few failed possibilities, my mom found someone: Oris. Oris was exactly what my mom was looking for.
Oris was with us for 11 years - from the time I was 4 to the time I was 15. She not only was everything my mom was looking for, but so much more. She became my second mother. She bathed me, fed me, made my school lunches. She braided my hair for hours at night so that when I woke up in the morning, my hair would look crimped! She attended every dance recital, every concert, every show, every tennis match, every softball game. She picked me up from school when I was sick. She attended every camp visiting day. She cleaned up after me no matter how much my mom told her not to. She accepted me as part of her family, and treated me as if I were one of her own.
We also treated her the same way. Unlike my other friends live-in housekeepers, we treated Oris like a human being. She sat down to dinner with us every night. We got her presents for her birthday and holidays significant to her culture. She was invited to every holiday dinner. She attended my Bat Mitzvah, and was one of the special people who lit a candle on the cake during the candle lighting, a tradition that boys and girls do at thier bar and bat mitzvahs to honor everyone they love the most.
When I was 15, we realized that having a live-in housekeeper was no longer necessary. At this point, I was capable and responsible enough to leave the house on my own, and come home to an empty house. I was also old enough to be able to stay home alone for one or two nights should my mom have to go away on business. Any more than that, we had agreed to call Oris to come and stay.
For a while after she left, we spoke often and over the months, and years, we lost touch. The last time I called her was to call her to let her know my grandfather died in 2003. I often think about her and wonder where she is and what she is doing now. I miss her a lot and wish we would have kept in touch. Every August, I think of sending her a birthday card and every August, I don't and for that I feel a huge amount of guilt. She played a huge part in raising me and I haven't even sent her a birthday card.
When I was taking a bubble bath today the phone rang and since I had been getting phone calls from telemarketers all day I didn't bother getting out of the bath to get the phone. When I listened to the message it said:
Hello Mrs. K, this is Oris. I was just wondering what is happening with Arielle. Could you please call me when you get this. My number is 868-XXX-XXXX.
Based on the area code, the called came from Trinidad, Oris' native country. When I tried calling the number back, it did not go through. That made me sad. I then tried calling the operator to find out if I was dialing wrong and she said I was not. I then tried calling her old phone number from when she lived in Brooklyn but no one answered the phone and there was no answering machine. That made me sad also.
I've been trying to call both numbers all evening with no luck whatsoever. I feel sad. I would have loved to speak with her and maybe meet her for lunch or dinner someplace. She was a member of my family.
So now I'm going to continue to try and call both numbers over the next few days and also hope that she calls me back. WISH ME LUCK!!!!