Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Little Lucy

I've experienced a lot of "firsts" in Kenya.
Today's first had better be my last.

Wispy tendrils escaped my ponytail just as the emotions escaped my brittle façade of control, tears spilling over. I stood to the side, glasses fogging and breathing ragged.

I consider ebulliency, constancy, level-headedness and bubbliness part of my personality, of my character. When I get into situations that steal that from me, I feel I lose who I am. I'm confused, floundering; who is this blubbering, emotional buffoon?

32 days. Lucy Nampiima had only 32 days to live. Her mother and father and sister had only 32 days to meet her, play with her, watch her, touch her. 32 days fighting for life in a NICU, attached to tubes and cables and lying in an incubator. 32 days.

I imagined what it would feel like to lose a sister. I didn't handle it well.

All the funerals I've ever attended - and I've been blessed to attend only a few - came together and melted into one painful ceremony. I hate sin! I hate sadness! I hate imperfection!

We walked through a garden of tiny crosses . . . born 2010, died 2010; born December, died March. Dozens, even hundreds of tiny graves in that lonely corner of a Nairobi cemetery.

He effortlessly ported the small, stained, lacquered box that could have held toys and stuffed animals rather than the little lifeless body inside, and laid it in the scar in the red dirt; a scar not nearly as great as the mark on her mother's heart. "This box will not be able to hold Lucy on that glorious day," said the pastor.

Even so, come quickly.

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