Coming in and Going Out

Posted: March 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

I sat and enjoyed visiting with 91-year-old Ivy Solomon the other night.  She is heading Stateside on her last journey out of Haiti after serving the people of Ranquite for 60 years.  She is sharp and polite.  We talked Haiti politics and I noticed she is neither naive nor bitter.  Tears welled up as I watched her, thinking that she is not the first of our friends to retire and spend their later years Stateside or in Europe after giving most of their adult years to Haiti.  I’ve said goodbye to dear Salvation Army ladies who we loved.  Women who gave and made Haiti a better place and they made light of it.  No chartered flight, no fanfare, simple celebrations and off they went with a suitcase or two heading back to countries they no longer fit perfectly in.  Women who have given many years to quietly serving in a country that always needs more.  Heroes of the faith who I have been honored to know.

The next morning I took our ambulance to pick up newborn twins who couldn’t deliver with us due to their stubborn sideways positions in the womb.  Fresh from the cesarean section, mom waddles to the truck while the twins squint in the sun being carried by Winnie our nurse and an aunt.  Barely born and already struggling to survive in the harsh country of Haiti.

Here I am, blessed to be an observer at both the end of a story and a beginning of another one.  Unnamed, which is most often the case, twin A and twin B ride back to our post-partum wing and begin their closely watched first few weeks of life.  Mom, Vitana, is a sweet lady who desperately wanted to deliver with us and is astounded that she can breastfeed two.  She will be surrounded by support and encouragement as we walk with them through these fragile first months of life.   Life is hard and it will be doubly hard for this mom of two tiny boys.

I heard John repeat a quote the other day that said something like: “I don’t feel I started well, but I want to finish well.”  Sometimes we are like the twins, twin B at a definite disadvantage, significantly smaller and weaker than his brother.  Some of us are born twin A, we have the edge.  Whatever the gifts we have or don’t have,  how we end is what really matters.  Some of us seem born to struggle, fight harder and work with things against us to win.  Others breeze on through, or like most of us, we are somewhere in the middle.

So here I sit – observing a “well done my good and faithful servant” ending and a struggling beginning of twins.  And what is the lesson for those of us walking in the middle of these two ends – run well with our eyes on the prize.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

End well.

Beth McHoul

 Twin Boys

Nurse Winnie with the mom leaving the hospital with the boys

Leaving the hospital for the Heartline postpartum room: Nurse Winnie, the mom, the twins, midwife Betsy and an aunt.  Beth is the ambulance driver.

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