Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Cousin Vinnie

Do you remember that movie? I don't remember much. But I remember the title. I think someone was on trial and he had a crazy cousin from the Bronx that was going to be his lawyer. Anyways...

This is my friend, Vinnie.

He is just a pleasure. I loved having him in my class and loved how active and inquisitive he was in the Bible class I taught. And last Spring, we studied further in the Bible with several other girls. This past Fall, the tradition continued and we all studied together again. However, this Spring, they had to get real and do an internship in order to graduate. So, in December 2013, we all had dinner together and said good-bye until graduation in July of 2014.

I prayed for him and the others off and on over the past months. But that was about it. Then I got a text.

Wait. A little back story: In Spring of 2012, he completed my Oral English course. At the end of the oral final, a small group discussion, he asked, "Did you give me a bad grade because I'm gay?"

I was a little shocked and stricken. But I smiled and replied, "Vinnie, you received a bad grade because you weren't a good student. I LOVED having you in class. When you came. But you rarely came and sometimes, you would play on your phone the whole time. Do you think coming to class half the time and playing on your phone deserves a good grade for an Oral English class?"

He laughed. "Okay, okay. I understand."

"Honestly, I never knew you were gay. I thought, maybe. But until you said something NOW, I assumed you weren't. It's rude to make assumptions based on appearance or actions that may not mean anything."

"Thank you, Nila. Wow. You have such principles."

Fast forward to June 2014: Our text conversation...

my dear Lina, thank you for teaching me the Bible and I do enjoy the days when we talk about everything related to christianity .I leart a lot of things from you and I cherrish it very much. I am back home now ,because something terrible is  happening to me !I beg that you can pray for me by the name of God and I do hope you can have a good life wherever you are!  from your lovely Vinnie!

Oh Vinnie!!! You are a dear dear DEAR friend. I will definitely pray for you! Thank you for asking! I'm sorry to hear your bad news. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. And if you ever want to talk, I'm always ready to listen 

maybe it is not the right time to tell you that and actully I dare not tell you . I got a terrible disease which will kill me gradually , but if i take pills everyday i can have a normal life as you have! I know you are a nice girl who i can trust,so i want to share my secret with you and it will realax me a lot! dont ask me what disease i am with now,i will tell you when necessary.what i want now is your praying and a normal life. i hope that i can see you again in the future!

Ok. I will still pray for you. And I will wait for you to tell me your secret when you are ready. I hope you know I will accept anything. I think you are a very good friend of mine 

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) i need to have a rest.good night,my friend!