I don't know if I should share this story. Maybe it is not my story to tell. Maybe in this smartphone age we hear about too many tragedies. Everyone is posting prayer requests and heartbreaking things, and our hearts only have room for so many stories. Also, reading about a person will never be the same is actually knowing them and seeing their struggles with your own eyes.
I met one of my husband's childhood friends for the first time last fall. For quite a few years, these little boys lived on the same yard, different houses, sharing food, flying kites together, and being bossed around by either set of parents.
His friend had moved to Brazil a few years back, and was coming home to Haiti to get married. His mom was sick around the time of the wedding and ended up dying a few weeks later. With all the funeral expenses and also just life in general, he couldn't just stay in Haiti indefinitely. His new wife didn't have paperwork to go to Brazil yet, so he had to leave her here and go back to his job in Brazil.
The separation itself was hard, especially since his wife is pregnant and they began to face the fact that she would probably have the baby here in Haiti - alone. And no new bride wants to move back in with her parents three months after the wedding is over.
A little while after he went back to Brazil, his dad had a stroke. They moved him in with his sister and did little, if any, therapy because they couldn't afford it. His sister and her husband have several children still in school, which is a huge expense here in Haiti, and they both have to go out and work every day.
You can imagine how this man has gone downhill - a stroke patient that couldn't even turn over in bed by himself, left alone for hours out of each day without therapy or proper nutrition. I won't explain all the details, but he has suffered horribly.
He died last night. His son, Zèzès friend, is clear in Brazil, with a wife here in Haiti that is due to give birth any time. It's been a week full of gang fights. And a family who hardly has enough money to eat is left to put on a funeral.
While I am glad this brother is at peace with God and no longer suffering, I am struggling to grasp this family's situation.
We all will lose our parents someday, and we can't choose the way they die. But sometimes money and life circumstances make such a huge difference. It's hard to think about those differences.
Zèzès dad had a stroke the year before we got married. I've wished so many times that he could have gotten more therapy, because I think he could have almost fully recovered. But he was able to have a therapist for a few months. He has pain and stiffness, but he walks to church and can take care of himself in a lot of ways. He even attended the church conference this year.
My own dad had an accident over ten years ago. He was working on a lawnmower and the jack malfunctioned. The lawnmower landed on the side of his neck. My mom just happened to go out to check on him, and ran for help. They were able to lift it off and he was soon strapped tight to a brace, headed to the hospital. He showed many of the same symptoms as a stroke patient because his brain had been deprived if oxygen. But he lived three hours from a huge therapy center at the Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston. Yes, it was expensive. But I don't remember that my parents ever even considered not going thru with therapy and doing what all the doctors said.
How do you make sense of the differences in these three men's lives? We hold to faith that God loves each of these people equally. And we know that in heaven, everything will be perfectly fair. But what about right now?