Down A Rabbit Hole
I decided to do a multiple part blog to talk about life with Lupus. I started to write it out as just one blog but realized that it is much too complex for that and I would like to dive a little deeper.
I have found, during my short life, that it is hugely important for me to take time to honor my past. After waking up to my boyfriend trying to get me to stop screaming last night I figured I should take that time to do that again today.
I don't remember much about my dream. I only remember seeing a little boy I saw while working at a hospital in Uganda, during my four months in East Africa. He was crying, like when I met him, only it was so much louder than before. I ended up being really shaken up by it and thought about that little boy quite a bit today. He was about three or four and in really rough shape. His belly was hugely distended from malnutrition, his hair had all fallen out, his skin sagged loosely on his arms and legs and his cries...he cried as if that was all he had the strength for, like it was all he could do This was that little boy:
He was the only one in the room when I walked in. No nurses, no parents, no other children like the other room with rows of beds sick kids. I immediately started crying and couldn't stop. Seeing that baby laying there, all alone, in that condition made me ache in every part of my being and not being able to stay hurt even worse.
It was nearing the end of our time at the hospital that day and I reluctantly left the hospital with hopes of coming back the next day. I came back but the boy was gone. No one could tell me what had happened to him and I still don't know if he ever made it out of that hospital... that was one of the hardest things I dealt with in my four months in Africa.
The fact that the only thing my team and I could have possibly offered him as "help" was prayer...that was a huge moment of realization in my faith, among many others I had during that trip. So I snapped a picture, which felt unbelievably cold...but I knew there would be moments where he would remind me of everything I learned and saw and felt. In case he didn't make it, I want to make sure he is remembered, because put a hole the size of Rhode Island in my heart and I will never forget his face, or his cries and I will honor his life by remembering it.
I've had many homes, in many different places, with many different people.
Home is place or person(s) you don't want to leave.
Home is feeling, that even for a second, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
With my many homes, I've had many families. Brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who weren't related to me by blood but were family all the same.
They created, in me, this a desire for community, a desire for closeness with others. They grew my capacity for love and taught me the true meaning of goodness and mercy.
These bonds, these connections, they enrich my life in so many ways and then break my heart when they end. I ache for the hills and dessert heat in Africa and the lush green landscapes and blue waters of Nicaragua and Costa Rica but mostly I ache for the people I came to know, the understanding that comes from experiencing all of these things together. I am homesick for the home that I've found in my friendships (that sounds so cheesy). There is no cure. Once someone has entered my left and left on good terms, I will forever wonder, how they are doing and where their life has taken them. When that happens I simply think of the happiest memory I have with them and send them happy, peaceful thoughts in hopes that they might feel that energy and be a little bit happier because of it. :)
Anna Mae Cristine Zinn, born September 18th 1993.