Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unshed Tears

Yesterday a mother sat outside our hospital with pictures of her and her children... she was not asking for money or food... she had a sign in English asking someone to adopt her youngest child because she had no way to continue feeding him.  For eight months she has been breastfeeding her son, as he is growing her milk is no longer enough to satisfy him.  This woman, who obviously cares and loves her child felt if was better to part with him than to let him starve.

This evening two women working at a local orphanage explained to me that several of the children at the orphanage were left by parents who were unable to take care of them.  The mother of one of the babies who was a patient at our hospital came every day and night to take care of her baby, yet had to leave her when she was discharged from our pediatric unit because she does not have a place to live, much less money to care for her.

I spent the better part of one hour listening to one of the hospital employees telling me how she is beginning to get discouraged, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.  My conversation with this strong beautiful woman started when I saw her studying English, within 15 minutes of our conversation I could see that my friend was not her normally happy self, that something was bothering her. When she began to share with me her discouragement I had no words,  saying "I'm sorry" felt inadequate and "I understand" did not ring true either.   She is currently living in a tent on the hospital ground with her only son.

It is eight months after the earthquake; money is scarce , food even more so and people are still living in makeshift shelters or if they are lucky under a tent.

Almost every day it rains here in Haiti, when I ask how they endured the night the common response is " we survive". 

I wish I could end this blog on an upbeat note, give me a day or two... but for now... ;(