"Laughter is eternity
If joy is real"
I was pretty worried that Micah was not going to make it. When I
first saw him in the AMPATH HIV clinic, he was one of those
children who made me angry about the injustice of one little body
bearing so many burdens. Cerebral palsy and HIV and a reactivation
of chicken pox infection that was crippling one of his eyes.
To make matters worse (if you can imagine worse), his father had
died a few months before and his mother was having a terrible time
scraping together enough food for her family of three to eat.
Micah's already-burdened body was frail and weak because he was
lucky to get one meal a day.
Micah's little body exposed the limits of what we can do. We
cannot take away his HIV or his cerebral palsy. We cannot restore
his sight in that eye. And, of course, we cannot bring back his
father. I hate all of that.
But we fight within our limits: Medicines to make his virus
sleep. Therapy to help him get closer and closer to walking.
Food rations to let him and his family grow strong enough that his
mother could return to work and he could sleep without an aching
Even when we bang against our limits with angry fists, there is
beauty if you look for it.
When I dropped by Micah's house this weekend for a visit, my
eyes filled with tears as he hugged me with a big smile and managed
to say, "Daktari Rachel!" A neighbor in their shanty compound was
playing loud lingala music, and Micah laughed and laughed and
laughed as I danced him around the yard.