Thankful: Joy (a reprise)

Laughter is eternity
If joy is real

- U2

micah laughter

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 belly.

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.


Posted at 14:05


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