Jun 13, 2008
Vero, Vero, oh-oh. . .
10 months. 100%. That's what Vero gave us, without flinching, without quitting, without slacking her pace. She was totally committed to being a missionary in Saipan. Most of us get tired, need a break, worry about stretching ourselves too thin. Not Veronyka Perez. She knew she only had ten months so she poured every last drop of herself into her work and into her kids. Everytime she was asked to do something she said yes. Everytime something needed to be done she was the first to volunteer. Everytime a sacrifice needed to be made, she stepped up to take the hit.
Vero is strong-willed, passionate in her views, and generous in her love. She reminds me of the lyrics to "Walls" the Tom Petty song--"She's got a heart so big, she could crush this town." I know she's left a lot of hearts feeling a bit crushed in the absence of the everday presence of her huge, embracing love. Here's the thing about Vero. . .the more she gave of herself--and she gave a lot, particularly to her students--the more she got back. She earned a place in the hearts and memories of her kids and will never be forgotten.
Veroynka worked with Mai and I in REAL Christian Theater and she was always a solid support to the team, helping out wherever she was needed and taking a strong lead when it the responsiblity fell to her. She helped make this season with REAL a lot easier. In addition to work we shared some fun times together--watching the next season of Grey's Anatomy on DVD just won't be the same without her!
Vero, I know this year wasn't always easy or fun for you. There were heartaches and disappointments as well as joys and blessings. We talked a lot about how it wasn't what you expected in many ways. I hope though, that in the ways that matter, this past 10 months came to be more than you expected. Know that you did your work well, that you made a difference, that you touched hearts and changed lives. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your love.
Vero with Virle & Joeiy on the early morning of her departure from Saipan, Monday, June 9, 2008. Vero spent a great spring break with these two in the Philippines.
Vero with some of the kids she loved so much.
This guy couldn't stay awake to say goodbye! 4:00 A.M. departures (with 2:00 A.M. airport send-offs) wil do that to you.
Lee & Vero
Vero's brother Adrian came out to Saipan for the last three weeks of her stay here and flew back to the Mainland with her--I'm sure Vero was glad to have his shoulder to cry on when they left. He fit right in with our island crew within the first day and it seemed like he'd been here all year! We enjoyed having you as a guest in our home, Adrian. Thanks for lending a helping hand in so many ways while you were here.
This was a typical scene at the airport during the last few days when everyone was leaving. We'd all sit down on the floor in the middle of airport and savor those last moments with our departing friends. As you can see Mai is a little sleepy. Poor thing, other than about an hour after this photo was taken (and that in the bed of a pickup truck) she's not going to sleep again for more than 30 hours!
Babs, Vero, and Me. Take care Vero! Thanks for everything for after all, that is what you gave us--everything.
Vero takes the Long Walk.