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He is there

Posted Dec 06 2012 12:41pm
I've been feeling increasingly disconnected from the work going on downstairs over the past couple of weeks. Zoe has been sick and I'm pretty sure she's hitting the dreaded four-month sleep regression a little early (it figures that my child would be an overachiever), so my life has been consumed with keeping her happy when she's awake and putting her to sleep without her screaming her little head off. Easier said than done, apparently. I know amazing things are happening down there, but it seems to far away.

The other day I had to downstairs to pick up some medication, and instead of taking the aft stairs down to Deck Three, I used the forward ones, the ones that would mean I had to walk the hospital hallway before crossing over to the starboard side where the pharmacy is. I'm not ready to have Zoe in the wards yet (we're going to wait until she's had another round of immunizations and is a little older before we let her get passed around among the patients and caregivers), but I just wanted to at least be near the patients, if only for a few steps.

When I hit the telltale green floor on Deck Three, Rebecca, one of the hospital chaplains, was leading a straggling group of VVF women on their customary walk. Catheter bags in hand, they were a ragtag bunch as they shuffled slowly down the hall. When Rebecca saw me coming, she started herding them to one side so I could pass. Enyo, I told her, It's good. Don't worry. Her face broke into a wide grin and we started singing together as I caught up to her.

Enyo, enyo, enyoto
E-enyo.
Nussya nussya Mauwa,
E-enyo.

It's good, it's good, it's so good.
God has done it,
and it is good.


The ladies turned as I passed them, drawn to the sleeping baby on my chest. Their eyes were full of hope and pain and despair and joy, empty hands unconsciously reaching out to her. I slowed when I reached the head of the line, matched my pace to theirs and sang with them as Rebecca started the next song.

Il est la.
Il est la.
Il est la.


Over and over they sang it.

He is there.
He is there.
He is there.


I don't know where their faith comes from. So many mamas without babies, mamas who have suffered the cruelest loss. Zoe nestled her head deeper into my chest as we all sang together and I just don't know if I could be that strong if I had lost her and had my life so horribly shattered.

I reached the aft stairwell, my cue to turn and go about my day. I waved farewell, and as I crossed over to the other side of the ship, their voices followed me.

Il est la.
Il est la.
Il est la.


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