Now it seems unlikely that at 28 years old I could actually be a grandmother – but sadly – it’s probably not that unlikely anymore. When I was 9 years old I used to play with the children in the nutritional center. That’s actually how I learned Creole. I still speak it like a little kid! LOL!
A lady there named Selida weighed 70lbs when she gave birth to a one pound little girl named Naomie. We didn’t have a birthing center then. If I’m not mistaken I think Miss Pat actually helped deliver her. I immediately fell in love with her. Too small to take a bottle – I fed her a few drops of formula through an eye dropper every 15 minutes. Many people thought she would die because she was just too small. She’s actually part of the reason I decided to become a nurse – so that I could change the lives of little babies just like her.
While we didn’t live in Haiti at the time, every trip I was there (about 8 times a year) I took care of this little girl. I would send for her every time my feet hit the island and then be her full time care-taker until I had to leave.
When I was 10 years old – we didn’t have electricity or most of the things the mission has. We all slept outside under the stars and when it rained – we ran for cover. I’m not sure we even had any dorms back then. It was more like – this wing was for girls and this wing was for boys and everyone brought tents or slept outside. There were no indoor places to really sleep. I kept Naomie in a cardboard box because there were no rails along the roof. I remember having her in that little box and my dad walking to his bed – kicked it across the roof. That little head just POPPED up like a little snake.
We grew up together – just 9 years difference but I always took care of her like she was my little baby – spoiling her rotten and doing my best to take care of her family. She lived with us for a few years when Jose and I moved to Haiti. I was so excited……remembering what it was like when she was a little baby. But she wasn’t a baby anymore. She was a teenager! YIKES! It’s not like I could bring her a box of Barbie dolls and pretend she was mine like she used to be. I learned quickly that teenagers aren’t a lot of fun when you’re the parent!
But one day something happened to her. She was different. She began having seizures and some random mental problems. She often talked about seeing her dead brother and sometimes she would run out into the middle of the courtyard screaming. Selida thought that Naomie had been cursed because she was living with Americans now. So she asked to take her back home.
I told her that curses can’t hurt Christians and Naomie was definitely a Christian. She was at every church function anytime the church was open and she had accepted Christ a long time ago. She took her back anyways and her illness seemed to calm down some but Naomie has never been the same.
I’m sad that I’m not in Haiti right now – as she is now married and delivered a beautiful baby boy yesterday! She didn’t make it up to the mission in time and delivered him on the road. That always makes me nervous because Rosie was born on the road and her umbilical cord got infected with the dirt and she got Tetanus. But they all tell me that she’s healthy and so is the little boy. I asked if they had named him yet and Momma Gigi told me they were waiting for me.
Maureen just sent me some pictures! He’s cute – looks kind of white! He may actually be lighter than when Gabriel was born! But today I present to you my new little grandson………
Categories: Personal Stories