12.14.2012

One

Running into her on the streets, finding her hard at work warms me from the inside out. It takes away that chill in my bones caused by the cool winter air. Her eyes are so bright that you almost can't see the pain etched deep inside them from a life time of struggle. She, this woman so recently fighting for her life, for each and every breath now stands strongly back at work making a small but tangible existence for her family. She, a woman so thin that I thought she must surely be suffering from HIV in addition to her tuberculosis, proved otherwise and has come full circle in her fight. It wasn't long back that I rushed with her to the hospital when she was in severe distress. Her bright eyes were starving for oxygen, her lungs begging for breath. Every muscle in her frail body was exhausting itself just to inhale, exhale. It wasn't so long ago that I sat next to her hospital bed and held her hand until she slept, with no one else to come and attend to her. It wasn't so long ago that I worried she wouldn't make it, I worried that her daughter would be orphaned and that this could really be the end of her fight. It seemed like a miracle, when I got the call at work that she was discharged from the hospital and not long after that declared tuberculosis free. Slowly she became stronger and stronger and she no longer needed me to come and meet her every day for medicine. Oh, how I miss seeing her every morning but these unexpected meetings feel like letting go of a long held breath. Like the kind of coming home where it doesn't matter where you are, you know you are home as soon as you are in the presence of that single person. It feels like knowing that one, just one still matters. One life, one woman, one mother, one friend.

One.

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