Tuesday, August 18, 2015

When the Crib is Empty

This isn't right...

I kept repeating these words over and over, these thoughts refusing to leave. Just eight days earlier she was admitted to our center. So tiny and frail with paper thin skin stretched over little bones. She had the smell of the street, a smell I can recognize anywhere.

And her eyes... she watched us with round, dark eyes, too old for her little body. She studied everyone.

Her life has not been fair. Sometimes we don't know any details. A little one is found and rescued, and we nurse him back to life with the little information we are given.

It's easier to imagine the circumstances. Maybe she was a young mother, and she just didn't know or understand. Maybe she was poor or sick, and abandoning the child was her best option.

But sometimes I know too much, and then I struggle. I struggle with the anger, and I am frustrated over a sickness that should not have happened.

She was a fighter. For a few days, we thought she would make it. Her body rebounded with the sudden influx of nourishment and affection. She would blow bubbles and smile up from her crib. She would reach up to touch your face while being fed.

And eight days later, we sat beside her crib, telling her of heaven and all the other little ones she would meet there. And she breathed her last.

Her little body just couldn't do it anymore. And we watched and fought alongside her until the very end.

This isn't right.

I sit at the table and stare across the room at an empty crib.

There will be no viral posts coursing through the internet, no public outcry over her death. No one will launch an investigation, and those responsible for neglecting her will not be punished.

After all, she is one tiny human being in a world where tiny human beings leave every day.

And what is so hard is the knowledge that this will not be the last empty crib. She will not be the last little one we whisper to about heaven, and she is now one of the names we will speak of.

Thank God we have hope. Thank God I can sit here and write this, knowing it breaks His heart even more than mine. Thank God for the peace of knowing there is life beyond the pain.

So we wait... for the next little one, for the empty crib to once again be filled.

And we hope. Maybe next time will be the right time. Maybe next time, the fight will be won.


You are loved, honored, and missed, little one. We are so grateful for the time with you. 

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