You see, we have another little boy getting ready to go back to Jesus on the wards right now. He's one of the Burkitt's kids, and his name, Aime, means love. I can't think of a better word to describe him. He's Yovophobic, it's true, but the tumors that swell his cheeks make him one of the most kissable kids around. He's due for his third round of chemotherapy now, but his body is failing, trying to fight off a nasty respiratory infection that will most likely claim his small life.
Watching a child die is one of the hardest things in the world; Prince Eddie Daniels seems blissfully unaware of this fact. He's the patient in the bed across the room from Aime, a man from Ghana who's incredibly literate and incredibly gifted with words. He's been asking for paper a lot recently, telling us he's feeling inspired and then penning words that speak such healing to our little ragged souls. Take, for instance, his work from yesterday. It's long, but I am going to type the whole thing out, because I want to be able to come back here and read it whenever I'm losing my strength for this fight. (I've formatted it, since his original work was just one long stream of thought. The bolded bits are my own emphasis, the parts that are going to get me through the deep parts of those dark nights, the ones that sometimes threaten to overwhelm me.)
Angels Amongst the Sons of Men
The day the Big White Whale landed on the black shores of Africa was a blessed day to the Sons of Men.
It came with Angels to walk amongst the Sons of Men.
Why do I call them Angels? Let me tell you of my time with them.
I came on board the White Whale with rooms filled with
and the rough.
And deep into the darkest part of the night, I saw men and brethren,
maidens and ladies, though flesh as us, yet with hearts as Angels.
Sleeplessly and tirelessly they toiled through the night,
through the pains and aches of men;
they with hands to heal and mend,
bringing from above the Father's love to the Sons of Men.
Some they cut.
Some they tie.
Some they seal, and yet others
they fix with tools untold.
Like messengers of the Most High they came.
Not thinking of their own, they risked their lives
and sailed the seas to lands beyond the endless world,
to shores of Men afflicted and in pain.
Their hearts and lives they came to share,
as Angels walking amongst the Sons of Men.
Some in this life are born to pass,
and some are born in life to live,
yet these Angels are born to preserve humanity.
Though some may see lives as waste,
yet with speed they move to save.
With words of love and touch of peace,
they endlessly toil to make right the wrong.
You were born as Men to your lands,
and yet as Angels you served the earth.
Gold is digged from earth beneath.
Treasures are hunted on high seas.
But love so pure and true
can only in hearts like yours be found.
Your labor in the Lord shall not be in vain.
For every life you touch and every soul you save,
For every bone you mend and every face you straight,
The Lord of Life and Light will light your path and guide your life.
For you are truly Angels amongst the Sons of Men.
(Prince Eddie Daniels, 31 August 2009, B Ward)
I'm not going to type out the poem he wrote for Aime today, because I'd just end up crying again. Maybe later I'll share it with you, once I know how this battle is going to end.
For now, I'm going to shut my eyes to the darkness and see only the light. I'm going to see Maomai, her cheeks round and full, her mama smiling and proud, telling me that they're finished here, that Maomai doesn't have to come back anymore because she's well now. I'm going to see Benjamin, my little boy in A Ward who has no front teeth and a bandaged leg and who absolutely shrieks with laughter when I speak Fon to him.
And the Lord of Life and Light will light my path and guide my life.