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.”
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.
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.