This week has got me thinking about heartbreak.
It started on Tuesday afternoon when Ben had another febrile seizure. This one was particularly violent and we happened to be on the street when it happened. Couple that with the fact that Ben spit up his Martinelli’s sparkling cider at the same moment (making it look like he was foaming at the mouth) and you have me in full blown panic, my entire body shaking violently, matching his tiny little body shaking violently in my arms. Then there is me trying to breathe, checking to make sure he is breathing, asking someone to call the paramedics, feeling helpless and unbrave, alone and scared to death.
When I think about that scene, the moment that still brings me to tears is this one: There was a college student, about 20 years old, who appeared out of nowhere, looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m here to help.” At that moment I didn’t have a good job for him and the paramedics arrived shortly after, but this small act of kindness, of simply being with me in this moment was an incredible gift. He probably thought he wasn’t needed and wasn’t helping, but I actually wish he hadn’t disappeared when the paramedics arrived. I wish I could thank him for that small bit of kindness and connection.
Ben is fine. Or mostly fine for a boy who had a 103 temp this morning, another seizure, and is still coughing violently. Fine for a boy who is watching Dora right now, but who I feel I need to hover over, just to be sure… every tiny jerk of his body sending my own body into a vigilent kind of attention– like an electric shock or a cattle prod.
What this has to do with Haiti
So while my own heart has been breaking in a thousand pieces the past few days, there has been the most unimaginable kind of heartbreak going on in Haiti. In the scariest moments of my own week, my mind keeps flashing to these other mothers and I get the tiniest window into their suffering. It’s almost too much too bear.
My friend Myriam., pictured above, has family in Haiti. She is understandably devastated and is calling on us, this wonderful community to help. Her goal is to raise 30,000 for her family and I know we can help. More info coming later today so that we can all donate whatever we can.
If there is anything that moment on the street taught me is that it’s easy to walk by, or to look horrified from a distance. We are afraid to get too close, or we just don’t know what to do. I get it. I don’t know what to do either. But I am grateful for this opportunity to give through Myriam. It is one way we can stand alongside these people and in our own way say, “I’m here to help.”