That’s my word for today.
We went again to the state orphanage, and this time I was completely overwhelmed… I walked in and barely had breathed before I was hit with the smell… which usually isn’t too bad, but today I was more sensitive I guess. I looked in the first open door and saw the girl with hydrocephalous getting her IV changed… she was crying, she looked really bad. I kept walking. There were crying kids everywhere, but I found my smile and ran to my friend who loves to be hugged. He was in a far crib in the first room. He was all happy and laughing. I thought I can do this today. Look how I made this disabled child smile; LAUGH! I love this lil’ guy. I walked into the next room after a while. There was a young boy with an IV hooked up; his ribs were literally poking out of his body; his arms were inconceivably skinny; his breathing was uneven, one side of his chest heaved, then the other. He was sweating, crying, and holding his one hand out for comfort. I almost fainted. The nurse in me checked his IV, felt for a pulse (which I couldn’t find), and laid my hand on his chest counting his respirations (which I lost count and found difficult since it was so uneven)… then I had to quickly leave the room. He’s dying, I thought. What can I do? Just watch him suffer?
I went upstairs. The boy with hydrocephalous was there. SMILING, LAUGHING! He’s eight years old. His head is as big as my upper body. He breaks my heart. I held a boy’s hand who kept slapping himself. I looked at this other kid who proceeded to throw up everywhere. Tears came out of his eyes and he looked at me with pity. Why God?? Why him, why not me! I’m an American… rich and spoiled.
I left the room and cried a bit. Then I went downstairs with my roomie and we both just sat. and thought. and shut our eyes.
On the way home I fell asleep on the bus again. My stomach was hurting and I had a splitting headache. I dreamt about the child who seemed to be dying. I had picture after picture of him enter my dreams. I can see him now when I close my eyes.
~a broken-hearted, eli