We got word that the mother of 2 boys in our school was gravely ill. Katie and Lala took the boys, Manius (center) and Manikson, to visit her broken down hovel on the mountain. It was the first time in 6 months that those little boys had seen their mama. She tried to hide her disease from us, but eventually, she handed over the piece of paper with the words, "HIV/AIDS: Positive".
I offered to go with Juliette to the hospital for her appointment. Lala and I met her and she was so weak that we literally carried her on our backs down the steep rocky path. I sat with her as the doctor prescribed the ARVs that would prolong her life and I actually teared up when I saw him smile for the first time during our interview and say, "After 2 weeks on these meds, you're going to get your appetite back and you're going to start feeling good."
When it was over, Rusty helped me carry Juliette, weak emaciated Juliette, back up the mountain. One week later, he carried her to her next appointment as well.
If my life was a movie, the next 4 minutes would be a moving montage of Juliette taking her medications, slowly gaining weight and strength, first being carried up the mountain, then leaning on Rusty, and finally, walking steadily by herself. It would show her scooping her precious little boys up in an embrace with the sun setting over a panaroma of the city below them.
But my life is not a movie. It's real. And the reality is that despite the meds and despite our efforts, Juliette died last weekend.
I had my journal with me on the day I spent at the hospital with her and I recall writing, "Where is the justice, God? Why am I standing here, strong and healthy and whole, while she sits there, weak and sickly and frail? Why am I American? Why is she Haitian? Where is the justice?"
He didn't answer me. I'm used to that. I think He wants us to be broken about injustice sometimes and wrecked by seemingly meaningless loss. I think He needs us to feel a part of what His heart feels when one of His beloveds suffers.
I understand that. But sometimes I still wish my life was a movie...