by Natalia C. on mission in Buenos Aires
Every Thursday we visit kids with HIV and women with Tuberculosis in a hospital close to our home. I would like to tell you about a little boy that I met in this hospital a few weeks ago. For security purposes, I’ll change his name and call him Anthony. Anthony is 7 years old and has HIV. For the last three weeks he has been in the hospital due to health complications. His mom also has HIV and is often too sick to care for him. Because of this, he has a care taker come and spend time with him every day. On top of his HIV, Anthony is also deaf. When I spoke with his care taker about these things, I was immediately filled with sorrow and pity. This little boy is only 7 years old and has experienced so much suffering. He cannot express himself fully because of his ailment. His caretaker is not fluent in Sign Language, although she does practices with him daily.
I kept thinking about how lonely this boy must feel. After I spent more time with him and got to know him better, my eyes were opened to his reality. Yeah, he’s young and he has suffered a lot, but who is this child beyond these ailments? He is a normal boy: he has an extremely funny personality, he loves to play UNO, and he HATES to lose. I shouldn’t limit him to his suffering, it’s important to recognize and keep in mind these problems that he has to deal with, but more important than that is to see him as a child of God who is loved more that I can even imagine. I’ve learned so much from this child: how to live life in the midst of suffering, how to laugh with real joy, and (of course) how to play a good game of UNO!