I have been trying to get out of the yard here each evening. Taking a walk with the boys and Lori and just getting away. Getting out of the thick of it to clear my mind some. It is hard to live above the clinic, beside the RC and have others living with you in your own house. There is never a moment to yourself, never a time that someone else cannot hear you or see you or know what is going on in your life. Try having to have a discussion with you spouse in a whisper so no one will know what is going on in your life. Now try it 24/7 for over a year with no break. God did not sign me up for a 5 day 9 to 5 job. So back to walking…we headed out and there was already a line of people seated in front of the clinic gate. It was around 4:30 in the afternoon. Those waiting planned to sleep there all night so that they could pass through the clinic early in the morning. As soon as we headed out a man came up to Lori and said his child was very sick. We asked him to wait until we returned and we would talk to him. He waited and when we came back he showed us his daughter, Kendina. She was struggling to breath and had a 103.8 fever. Her little body, that was only 10 days old, was so stiff and hard. We took her in right away and began to look at her.
We tried to understand why a baby this small could be this sick. We began to talk with the father. He and the mother of his daughter had another baby girl a few years ago. She lived a few weeks and died of fever and diar. They mother was very sad that her first child had died. When she became pregnant with Kendina she was excited but scared. Imagine the emotions within her. She went through her pregnancy and all went well. She delivered her baby girl without many problems. You know, just like most of us, in the dark with a small oil lamp burning, on the dirt floor. She was fine for a few days and then began to get a fever. The mother told the dad that she wanted nothing to do with her. She was going to die just like the first one. She refused to breastfeed her and all she could do was cry and scream and mourn for her second daughter. The father did not know what to do. He gave her water with sugar in it. Then he made some porage for her to eat. Her little body was so hot with fever and she was so stiff. The dad traveled several hours by foot to walk to the clinic. He just could not deal with both problems at once. His child that was dying and his wife that is already mourning and going crazy. He was so very tired. It was very evident that he cared and loved his daughter so much.
While he was talking I pressed my head against the wall. Asking myself why I had just sat there and listened to that. It is easier, for me, for some reason, to not know the stories behind the sick kids. Just to deal with the child and the sickness they have is enough. Why have we been chosen to do this? Why can’t we go on vacations, go to ball games, go to movies, read books, play games and have a somewhat normal life. Why can’t my concerns be why the sheets are not just the color that I wanted, or that the walmart ran out of grapes or something simple like that. Why does so much of it have to life and death and sorrow and heartache. Why can I never have a minute to even mourn the loss of these children? I keep asking why and keep going forward as I do each day. But it does not get easier. I love what I do but need a break at times. But to take a break, like I really need a break, I would have to leave one of my kids and my husband to travel to another place that they could go to. So it would not really be a break but a separation of our family ..again. No easy solutions. But the great thing is that I trust God, I believe that He is in control and He and only He can help me through these times. He calls us all to different things, different callings, different lives, and different places to minister to people.
Kendina died on Wednesday night. Just the day before the military doctor came. I was able to hold her when she took her last breaths before she went into the loving arms of Jesus. I am glad that I was able to do that for her. I am glad that God called me here. I was able to tell the father about the death of his second daughter on Friday. It was sad. The only thing he said was thank you and God did His work.
Psalm 63:3-5 (The Message)
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.
5-8 I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;(rice and beans)
I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight,
I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me,
I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post