There are some times in life when you don't get to hear the end of a story. Maybe someone you cared about, or people that were your people, but now they've moved on. You wonder where are they now, or how did that situation resolve itself. You know what I'm talking about, right? Everybody has those unanswered questions I think. I've got a few of those scenarios that have been left unanswered, mostly as I think of some of the small, small babies I took care of in the nursery last time we were here. Did they make it through the baby stage and into the toddler years? Did they have developmental delays? Are they being taken care of by the community if there were delays?
One particular story that has always come back in my mind is of a little baby that I took care of all those years ago. The mama had walked a long ways to bring her daughter in to be seen. Once we laid eyes on the child, she was admitted immediately. After the mama was sure that her baby was going to be cared for, she herself said she wasn't feeling well. She was examined and admitted to the ICU. She had severe respiratory problems as well as HIV.
When the baby girl was well enough to be off oxygen, I would carry her over to the ICU so that her mama could see how well she was doing and how much she was improving. Her whole face would light up to see her baby getting healthier each day. Unfortunately the mama passed away not long after being admitted. It was heartbreaking. No other family had come in with them.
Finally family from their home village came to check on the mother and daughter. When they found that the mother had died, they did not want to take the baby. My friend and boss at the time spoke with the family and talked for a very long time about taking this child home. Finally they agreed. From my American way of thinking I was so skeptical. I didn't think you could 'talk someone into' this kind of thing. But at the time, I chose to trust what my friend was saying. She was from the same tribe, spoke the same language and understood the social cues like I couldn't. It was hard to watch them drive away that day. I was sure they were trying to save face at the hospital, and would just drop the little bundle off on the side of the road as soon as they turned the corner.
A few weeks ago, I was walking by myself up near the hospital trying to buy some minutes for my phone. Outside one of the shops a woman that I didn't recognize started calling my name. Yes, I asked. "Are you Mrs. Ganey who used to work in the nursery?" Yes, that was me, I told her. She introduced herself to me again as I had forgotten her name. "I was the nurse who worked in the ICU and you kept bringing that baby in to see her mama. Do you know that little girl lives in my same village and she's doing so well? They have really taken such good care of her. Its the grandmother who looks after her. They even got money together to send her to school." I felt like I was walking on clouds the whole rest of the day!
There's a song that's been running through my head the past few days (yes, it is a christmas song). The chorus says, "Noel, Noel, Come and See what God has done." I am so grateful when we get to see the end of the story, and see what God in his love and mercy has done.
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa