Monday, May 5, 2008

And there is no night there

Saturday arrived and brought with it the event that I was not sure how I would handle...the death of a child. Simon arrived at HCH on April 5th, perfectly matching his twin brother Samuel, except for Samuel's funny shaped left ear. They had been born that morning, at home(or perhaps in the car..the details are not too clear) and their mother had not survived their birth. They both seemed to be healthy, full term and weighing in at about 4lbs each...excellent for twins in Haiti.
About a week after they arrived, Samuel got a little sick and Melinda had him on IV for a while, and he went through a couple days of jaundice. Shortly after that, Simon also began to show signs of jaundice, and the last 2 1/2 weeks were busy keeping them on and off IV's, through bouts of antibiotics, bili lights, bloodwork and few hours of sleep on the parts of Pat and Melinda. Then Samuel seemed to pull through and start eating and passing non-green stools. However, late last week it appeared that Simon was still not recovering, and progressively got worse as the week went on. On Friday, Melinda pulled me aside and asked me to contact a doctor I knew of at Lifeline mission, known only to me through the Livesays blog, to ask her for any help she could provide. Suddenly the reality of what was happening was very stark. This of course was on a day that the internet decided to part company with us again, so I headed up to town praying that the internet connection was working there. I sent an email describing what had happened so far with Simon, and that evening Dr. Jen called and affirmed what Melinda was suspecting..Simon was in organ failure. She affirmed the things Melinda was already doing and was planning to do and gave her a few more ideas, but also was honest in that things did not sound good for our little baby. I was so thankful for her call, even just to affirm for Melinda that she was doing all she could for Simon. Through it all once again I have been amazed at how God brings his people together through the internet!
Pat and Melinda stayed up with him, and in the morning when I walked into the room, Melinda greeted me with, "It doesn't look good". She had sung to him all night, as when she quite he would not stop crying. However, in the morning he had stopped responding even to that. It was so sad to see him, laboring to breath, even with oxygen, his skin and the whites of his eyes orange. We spent the good part of the morning praying, and at about 10:00 I went downstairs to check on the kids, and when I walked back in the room at about 10:10, Melinda looked at me as she was walking over with the stethescope, and said "he's gone".
I cried...lots of quiet streaming tears. It was a very sad new feeling for me...very real ,yet almost not, so foreign a feeling it was. We had a little service that afternoon and buried him in our little cemetary acoss the road. That morning was a hard one around the house...and then God in His infinite wisdom sent a nest of mud wasps into the baby room, and distracted our tear-run faces as we moved them to safety. It was amazing to be carrying a very alive little one down the hallway, and realize how God was speaking to us in our grief.
Simon's death not something I really understand...yet, being in Haiti I think I appreciate even more that Simon is in a much, much better place. Just seconds after Melinda confirmed that Simon was truly gone, the words "and there is no night there" popped into my head, and these words kept repeating themselves over and over throughout the day. I finally got the chance to look those words up and this is what I found:

No Night There
by John R. Clements

In the land of fadeless day
Lies the city foursquare;
It shall never pass away,
And there is no night there.

God shall wipe away all tears,
There’s no death, no pain, nor fears,
And they count not time by years,
For there is no night there.

All the gates of pearl are made,
In the city foursquare;
All the streets with gold are laid,
And there is no night there.

All the gates shall never close
To the city foursquare;
There life’s crystal river flows,
And there is no night there.

There they need no sunshine bright,
In that city foursquare;
For the Lamb is all the light,
And there is no night there


Annerieke said...

thanks for this heartwrenching, beautiful post.