“i can see your heart is with the kids. you really love them…i hope you are able to have your dream of building an orphanage.”
as soon as i walked into the ward this morning, i immediately saw lester and started talking to his “mom.” she said, “you know, yesterday, he was getting his strength from you.” i told her how moved i was, yesterday upon leaving the hospital after she had said that to me, and i was like, after i left – i got on the jeepney, and i just started crying! and she’s like, “after you left, i started crying too! and so i left to the other room!” it became a really special moment that we laughingly cried about. 🙂
my camera is still sticky from lester’s hands as he grabbed jello from his lunch tray and struggled to swallow it down, remnants of the chocolate milk which he did not enjoy drinking, and the little yakult bottle that he actually enjoyed…at least, for a little bit! today at the hospital was a tough day. most of the kids i left yesterday, were now recovering, but in the stage where the anesthesia was starting to wear out, and so the pain was starting to really make itself stronger.
today, i saw a lot of blood – coming out of their mouths, dried on their bedsheets, on their parents’ shoulders (especially as the toddlers were being held), i heard a lot of crying…a lot. one child would cry, other patients would look, and then others would start crying. it was like a symphony…but, not as melodic? haha, but something stronger spoke to me, and that is that there was life there, in the ward.
|lester…looking at life.|
as i tried to take pictures and capture some of the emotional moments that i was able to witness, i realized, pictures do not even capture or reflect the emotion that is ever-so strongly present when i am sitting on the patient’s bed, and talking with his/her caregiver or parent. pictures do not capture that feeling. pictures do not capture the LOVE that is present when i see exhausted parents wiping the drool and blood from their child’s mouth and nose, or when i see the parents fighting to keep their eyes open, just to watch their child fall asleep.
lester, for instance, was brought to the hospital by a volunteer at the foundation, which is 6 hours away. she told me she worries for him, as if he is her own son, and i was happy when lester gave her permission to leave, as long as i stayed with him. so that’s what i did. later that morning, one of the moms was not able to change her clothes in 24 hours, cause she had to take care of her baby, elijah, who underwent surgery too…so she was like, ” can i ask you a favor? ” and i was like, of course! i didn’t know what she was going to ask me…i was like, uh oh…haha, she’s like, “can you watch him while i change really quick?” and i’m like, of course! so baby elijah was alllll mine for those 10 minutes. awesome! 🙂
|this is elijah!|
the doctors did 13 patients today, which is pretty amazing. like, beyond amazing. they are such a warm medical team – so loving, and very caring. in talking with them, and seeing their care for their patients, it is apparent that the team is not just a group of strangers that go in, do their “medical thing,” and then leave. no, there is so much more to their mission, their sincere care, and their hearts can easily be felt. the other day, one of the doctors was eating, and a baby was brought into the lunchroom to see if anything could be done to help this 6 month old baby, weighing 3.6 kg – because of her cleft palate, she is malnourished because she can not eat. 🙁 at any given time, the medical team makes themselves available – yes, even so, during emergencies at midnight. really awesome team. 🙂 we are very blessed to have them here!
leaving the ward today was really difficult. most of the families i have befriended will be leaving over the weekend, as their children are now recovering. unfortunately i won’t be able to go to the hospital tomorrow because we have our programming at SOSCFI. so, dreadfully, i realized, when i return back to the hospital next week, there will be no more lester, no more rafy, no more angelica, no more kevin, no more reynel…and so, i began my goodbyes. well, as soon as i began, i was just overwhelmed with sadness of leaving…and i just kept saying, “i don’t want to leave!” the parents watched me, and they started tearing up too, and they said, “i can see you really love the kids,” “thank you for being here with us” and i was like, a situation.
first off though – is that, i think it’s really crazy how close i felt with these families after not even spending full 24 hours with them! i woke up this morning, antiicipating to see them, and so, having to say goodbye to them tonight was really sad for me.
lester heard that i was leaving, and the next thing you know, he started getting really feisty. lying on his bed, he started throwing things, and having a hardcore tantrum…by then, i was already teary-eyed, and said bye to him, but he wouldn’t look at me, he shrugged his shoulders, and i said bye, gave him a hug, and still, he would not get up. 🙁 i thought to myself…this isn’t the first time someone just left him so abruptly. but i was blessed by him, and by the volunteer that brought him there, because she was the one who told me, “i hope you are able to have your dream of building an orphanage.” she told me how happy she and all of the patients were, that i was there.
as i struggled to say bye to the rest of the families, they just continued to affirm me – i was like, ok, NOW this is too much to handle! one father called me a child-lover, the moms told me that i am a REAL filipina cause of the color of my skin, and the fact that i was there, and they affirmed my struggling tagalog skills. 🙂 some of them also said, thank goodness – a YOUNG missionary! 🙂
|lester was having fun taking photos… so i took advantage. haha!|
i think what really moved me the most in my past 3 days that i have spent at the hospital, is that there was so much strength, love, and care on every bed that was piled into the recovery room. some of the dads took over some of the vacant beds because they went without sleep for 48 hours straight. these families traveled many, many hours to get here, with the little money that they have, carrying change of clothes, snacks, and toiletries. there was a lot of sacrifice, but they were ALL so grateful. SO grateful. when i recorded some of the parents speaking on anything – i told them, just say something about interplast or about your experience, and, they just expressed thanksgiving and gratitude.
and so, that’s all i got. it was a long day. when i look at my rings i wear, i think about how lester wore them as he fell asleep, and held onto them so tightly – even though my promise ring fell under his bed and i thought it was lost! i actually realized that i would not have minded…it was a comfort to him. and i was more than ok with that. 🙂
|this makes me smile!|
will i ever see these kids again? God only knows.
and i trust God’s judgment and timing. 🙂