Well, there's only one word that I can think of for today: bittersweet. What else can you say as you kiss goodbye little babies that have become "yours" over the past week of feeding them, entertaining them, tending their hurts, encouraging them, holding them, changing their diapers, praying with and for them...
I walked into the children's hospital this afternoon, thinking only of spending a few last moments with my "favorite" children and I saw an entire row of new sick babies. My heart went out to them all, but there was no way in the few hours I had left to be able to hold them all. I walked over to the smallest little one and a half year old boy I have ever seen. He was skin and bones and burning up with fever. Fr. Michael Mitchell LC, chaplain of our group, saw me holding him and went to ask the sisters if we should baptize him as he is so small and so weak he might not, probably won't, make it.
After getting permission he asked me to be his Godmother. I stood by as this little boy became a beautiful child of God, thinking that this birthday into the life of grace will very soon be followed by his birthday into eternal life... How bittersweet for me that in less than an hour I needed to say goodbye to this spiritual child of mine.
And tomorrow as I fly back to states I'll be celebrating another bittersweet birthday... my own. Bittersweet because, I'm leaving the best birthday gift ever, a week of constant giving and receiving, of stepping out of my comfort zone and of having life changing and heart stretching experiences. I will be flying away from this beautiful family that my mission group has become, and it is bittersweet. But I love them all and they can be assured of my prayers for the rest of my life.
But right now I am still here in Haiti and I'm going to continue to make the most of every moment. So I'll sign out now and go to a birthday card game that is waiting for me.