Sunday, 11 January 2009

A kind touch meant everything to me

This weekend I have tried really hard to distract myself. My other half is away so I have more than enough time to myself.

My friends are all away too, so I have nobody I can really speak to. Having too much free time on one's hand is a bad thing.

I have tried to distract myself by watching a series until 5am in the morning so that I can wear myself out. It didn't work.

I can't help it anymore. Even as I am writing this I feel wretched. I am not posting this to elicit sympathy. After all, I am not the family suffering the loss.

This posting is really to help me cope. Writing helps me cope. It's also to post the photo of the child who has died. Jeanie & Check, your donation helped to pay for the chemo of this child too.

I would never have suspected he could not survive. He was still running & playing around 3 weeks ago when we gave a Christmas party. His mother is very well dressed right? We kinda suspect that she has been trying to earn some side income while she's been in the "big city". But we are not there to be moral judges. They actually arrived here 3 months ago with only the clothes on their backs.

Looking back, Dec was a terrible month. 3 kids died before Xmas. Of the 13 who have died in the past 6 months, 10 are kids we have sponsored. I don't know if being sponsored by us is a bad thing or if the kids sent to hospital are already terminal cases.

We have no news of the other 5 we have sponsored for treatment. One never knows until they come back to hospital. Often they will not come back. Due to lack of money for transport or if the kid has died.

The risks of having very under- & mal-nourished sick kids take chemo is worst than playing Russian Roulette.

But it seems we have no choice. We try to build the kids up with feeding first. Then the doctors put them on chemo. The side effects of chemo sucks. Medication here sucks. Equipment sucks. Medical help sucks. Being poor & sick sucks BIG time.

When I visited this week, I saw a well dressed, well spoken Indian gentleman talking to this mother. When the mother saw me, she came to take my hands to wish me Happy New Year.

I hadn't realized then that her child is dead. But when I saw her face, I realized what had happened. I had to turn my face away because I just could not stop my tears from coming.

For a year now, my friends & I have resolved to ourselves that we will NOT cry publicly whenever we see all the suffering around us. We didn't want to give signs of hopelessness to the kids & parents.

But I failed this day. When the tears came, I was as surprised as I was sad. And I failed to find a tissue in my bag. As I was trying hard to rub away the tears from my eyes, a gentle hand patted me on my shoulder. It was this Indian gentleman. He said "Don't give up"

I have thought of giving up. But this gentleman is right. If even we gave up, what chances do these kids have?

Then I found out that this gentleman is a benefactor who takes care of the dead. He & his friends sponsor the traumatic task of helping the burial or transportation of hardcore poor who has died.
So now I know. God has given us the task of helping those alive, while this kind gentleman & his friends have the task of helping the bereaved & dead.

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