Little Girl without a Dad

Approaching the end of our vacation, it was mid-afternoon and we were hanging out at the “little pool”. This is the name the boys had given to the pool at the hotel. They referred to the ocean as the “big pool”. It was rife with cuteness. A girl we had seen the previous day started playing with the boys, getting along with them better than any other child we had seen. She was sweet and smart (speaking English, Spanish, and French) and a joy to be around.

I talked to her for a little while and found out that she was eight years old. She was at this hotel with her mom because her brother owned it. And she was not in school because her dad died two days ago. She told what happened, and I have to admit that it shook me to my core.

The girl’s dad had a home in the Dominican, although we didn’t figure out exactly where it was. The family had been sleeping, when someone broke into their house (came in through the kitchen window) and killed her dad with a machete. She was hiding in a basket where her step-mother had placed her. She heard everything. She was lucky to be alive.

The little girl seemed mostly unaffected by what had happened, telling us the details as if she was reading a bedtime story. It was odd, and yet it is probably what any eight-year-old would do. She did write a note to her dad on the side of the pool table which said “I love you dad” – and if that doesn’t make you sad, you must have no soul.

I promised to look for her next time we come back to the Dominican. I hope she stays safe.