Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grief an Ocean Apart

Today I learned my sweet Mirembe has passed away. Mirembe was a little girl I met while in Kampala a few summers ago. I believe she was about 7 when she passed earlier today. She had been abandoned by her parents because of her Sickle Cell Anemia. My friends who help get kids off the street in Kampala had taken her in, not to one of the homes where the children live with Mentors but into their personal home. I was there the same week Mirembe arrived. Mirembe only understood a tribal language so we couldn't communicate much. You could see in her eyes how scared and confused she was. I spent an entire Sunday with her and that afternoon I made her laugh and for the first time we understood each other. Her "new" mom came running out asking if it was Mirembe who laughed and I said yes. We became fast friends. I sent her crayons and coloring books. She sent me colored in pages back. She suffered many set backs earlier this year and today she suffered her last.

It is hard to know how to grieve so far away. I can't hop a plane to be at tomorrow's funeral. I wouldn't make it in time if I left right now. I am left with prayer and sending a note that will likely not arrive at the home of her grieving parents and siblings for weeks.

I saw God in Mirembe. She changed me, my life and how I will live my life.

Today a little girl just outside of Kampala Uganda passed away and a big girl in Louisville is crying. That is the world we live in. It would be very hard to tell me today that I should love my "own" people first.

The truth is I loved Mirembe and I will continue to love her. Her picture will remain in our house until I myself meet my end. I don't understand how it is that God lets the littlest people get so sick and pass before their time has come.

I gave up some time ago trying to solve that problem.

I will say that with heart ache and all I still believe God is real.

Today I am so very grateful to have been blessed by having met Mirembe and that I can still hear her laughter echoing in my ears and her smile burned in my eyes.

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