Monday, February 22, 2010
Fist-Bumps and Missing Teeth
A long day today, I spent most of it in a hospital west of the city looking at a variety of post-earthquake patients who had lost limbs. One little boy in particular captured my attention. He had recently lost his right leg above the knee and was learning to use his new crutches. From what I could gather he had lost all of his family; he was 9-years old and alone in the world. I saw him and we immediately bonded, he awkwardly shuffled his crutches around so he could return my fist-bump. He got it done; his name was Sebastian.
As we stood there side-by-side in the sticky Haitian heat; he looked up at me and smiled, he was missing his two front teeth. I took comfort in the fact that they fell out naturally and finally there was something that was not a result of the earthquake. I remember thinking, if there were any kid that I would adopt and take away from this place it would be my resilient little hero balancing on a set of crutches next to me. My thoughts went back to the starfish parable; I can save this one.
In the end, we exchanged fist-bumps and toothless smiles. I silently said a little blessing wishing Sabastian well and walked away. I want to go home.