• December 7, 2010

Eva’s Testament of love

Eva & Anais - January 2009

How to turn one’s life into a tes­ta­ment of love? Eva is an example of this journey.

Our friend, Eva, 21 years old, has just offered her life for her son. During the three years we have known her, she hopped from party to party in her van, as if in a dream world sprin­kled with dis­en­chant­ment. We would see her from time to time at the Heart’s Home close to Toulon (France), with a new piercing, tat­toos, red, yellow or blue hair, according to her mood. Last year, social ser­vices retained cus­tody of her child. Eva’s mother also denounced her as a roving drug-addict.

Alone, without her son, friends or a home, she came to see us at Heart’s Home with the desire to get her child back. During two months she lived with us, relearning how to live, how to cook and clean, how to be atten­tive towards others and to wel­come with joy the people going by, be they a home­less person, a hand­i­capped friend, young people preparing to leave for a mis­sion or even our bishop! We real­ized that she became hap­pier. One day, she pro­claimed: “Heart’s Home is my family.”

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In October, we learned that Eva was once again in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion: she was preg­nant and wanted to have an abor­tion. One evening, a young couple looking to adopt a child came to have dinner at our home and after a great con­ver­sa­tion Eva said: “I have no desire to kill my child…I could never take care of it, but maybe I could give it to someone?” She remained another month with us.

In the end of October, six months into her preg­nancy, Eva was diag­nosed with cancer. The sit­u­a­tion was crit­ical: there were few days left before the child could live whilst her tumor was advancing rapidly. Eva was not con­cerned about her ill­ness: “I am 21 years old and life has only brought me shit. Even if the cancer has made me feel scared, it is just another problem added to my list.” She was wor­ried about the con­se­quences her ill­ness could pose for the child. In response to the doctor who insisted she quickly begin chemotherapy treat­ment, Eva explic­itly demanded to wait another ten days until her baby was strong enough as the treat­ment could kill it.

Eva was also wor­ried about Morgane’s sit­u­a­tion, her boyfriend Nono’s sister. She was wor­ried because Morgane, who is 15 years old, would be leaving France in two days to undergo an abor­tion. Morgane dis­cov­ered too late that she was preg­nant and according to French leg­is­la­tion, she could no longer have an abor­tion. Eva told us about her three abor­tions, which were hor­rible expe­ri­ences for her: “The first one was forced by my mother, when I was 14 years old, the second when I was 16, forced by my former boyfriend, the third one…I wouldn’t wish it to anyone. I am sad for Morgane, but I don’t know how to tell her…

A few moments later, Morgane arrived at the hos­pital’s garden with her brother and her mother and they all engaged in a con­ver­sa­tion.

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Natalia Satzyk, The Nativity

Three days later, the tele­phone rang and we learned about Eva’s death during child­birth, caused by the cancer that spread around the heart. The child, Abigaëlle, was born in good health. Two days later at the hos­pital we found Morgane, who was still preg­nant. She was very sad because of Eva’s death, but she had a gleam of peace in her eyes when she declared: “I was at the hos­pital for the abor­tion when I learnt about Eva’s death, so I decided to keep the baby and name her Eva.” Her lips formed a smile.

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