Sweet girl

Yesterday was the start of (what is supposed to be) the last "mission" in Guwahati. We are doing such a steady amount of surgery every week that it is no longer necessary to bring in large teams every few months for a week at a time as we have been for the last few years. There is always someone on each mission that really grounds me, reminds why I am here and what life changing operations are taking place on the daily out of the center. For some reason it is usually an adult but today, it was a little girl.

She is a nine year old who I think everyone so far has felt a connection with. She was all smiles this morning before surgery, coming right up to the team members. She was so social and interactive despite the obvious language barrier. I just kept telling her how beautiful and sweet she was, and she easily had more pictures taken today than she has in her whole life. I recovered her (easy breezy recovery of course, she was totally A Saint) then wheeled her down stairs to the ward where she would spend the night.

Fast forward about two hours, I am taking down yet another post-operative patient. This patient's bed was right next to my favorite little girl on the ward. I turned around to leave and smiled at my sweet girl when she reached out her hand. I took it in my own and she squeezed it tight. She gestured to me to come closer, scooched herself over on her bed (mommy laying next to her) and nodded her head down as if to say "sit down, stay a while." She still held my hand as I sat and we read each other's faces. It is astounding how much can be understood between the eyes of two people who don't speak the same language. Being the sensitive person that I am, I welled over with tears. Her mommy reached out and brushed that first tear off my nose. Then the little girl, using her only free hand as her other was still squeezing mine, grabbed her towel and wiped my face. Mommy patted my back, little girl wiped my face once more and told me in two Assamese phrases I know that it was okay, and gently said not to cry . She gave my hand a final squeeze and with that, I was free to go. I left that night with a heart so filled up that I worried it just might explode.

I arrived this morning a bit early so I decided to go in before the team meeting and see the post-operative patients one last time before they were discharged. I made my way around and stopped at my sweet girls bed last. She again gestured for me to sit down and I obliged. Her mother held out her hand and handed me a biscuit. They wanted me to enjoy the little breakfast they had with them, they offered me their own water and together we ate on the bed. At the end, the patient offered me her towel to clean my face and grabbed my hand to hold it one last time. I might argue that there is no better way to start my day, or week for that matter! What thoughtful hearts she and her mother have been given.


  1. I don't know how I stumbled on to your blog but I am so glad I did! I love reading your stories. I am completely in love with your heart and it's an inspiration to see someone give so freely. May God bless you, the volunteers as well as every patient who comes through the center, and all the people who live in the poverty of the streets. I'll keep you all in my prayers daily! Brittany

  2. You write beautifully. My eyes welled up as I read. What a profound adventure you are on!