I have so many stories that I wanted to discuss with you all, but my life has been temporarily so turned upside down with a family growth/shift that I just haven’t had the time. But now that the Holidays are officially upon us and I have the luxury of a lazy day with the kids, I wanted to take a minute to share with you something that reminded me of what I should be thankful for this season.
Holidays have always pissed me off because for one period of time each year everyone decides that we should treat one another the way we should be treating each other all year. Plus I feel like gift giving is the ultimate guilt trip. But I’m not going to get on my soap box about it because some of you out there love this season and often give the shirt off of your backs during it; and I’m thankful for that as well. A few days ago while scrolling my newsfeed, bitching about Thanksgiving, Christmas Décor, and the Baby Jesus; I came across a sad announcement from the Hope For Humans FB Page. A beautiful girl by the name of Esther whom had a come a long way in treatment for Nodding Syndrome, died while on a two hour trek that she made daily for medical and educational assistance. She suffered a seizure and drowned in a river than many other children cross every day just as she did, for the same charitable opportunities.
While it saddened me that Esther passed away in such an unfortunate manner and at such a dreadfully tender age, the details of her day to day life floored me. I know that there are children who suffer like this all over the world and that most of us feel helpless to do anything about it, but I am floored at how many of us going on in our lives pretending it’s not happening. I’ve watched all of my friends on FB, well, the dwindling few now, as they post everyday something to be thankful for. Each day, either they forget to post, or post the most trivial things and have yet to post how thankful they are not know true poverty. Some may argue that you are living in poverty because you are broke and can’t afford to give your kids nice things. Living in poverty and being poor are apples and oranges. Sure some of you may not have money to buy your children Christmas presents this year, but your children will not have to drink dirty water due to lack of clean water sources in the area. Your child’s school system may test something pitiful in National Standards, but your children do not have to walk two hours and cross a river to receive an education, and you do not have to chain your neurologically ill child in a dirt floor hut while you go out to work in the fields.
I heard it said earlier this month that it’s racists to say that America is the greatest country in the world. I for one don’t believe that America is the greatest country in the world. But I do believe that we are abundantly blessed and that we should be thankful for that not only this upcoming Thursday, but every day. Thankful that there is a bus that picks our children up for school, and that there is an orderly line for car drop offs and pick-ups. Thankful that our pediatrician is just phone call away and if not there is an Emergency Room within an hours’ drive. We should be thankful that our clean water sources are so abundant that we can afford to purchase water in bottles even though it comes virtually free from a faucet that many children literally dream of drinking from. It’s easy to sit around the Thanksgiving Dinner table and say how thankful you are for your family, but this Thanksgiving I challenge you to dig deep, and be thankful that your child will not die crossing a river this year like precious Esther. Rest In Peace Ester. You will be missed by many.
If you’d like to help children with Nodding Syndrome, you can learn more here.