10 July 2008

Nalango Christine

There are many things I don’t understand… and many people I don’t understand…

Often I want to understand… but in this case I don’t…

3 weeks ago one of my students… Nalango Christine… lost her 16-year old son to a 2-year battle with cancer…

I knew she was a mother… Nalango means mother of twins… but I had no idea that she had a sick son… and even a son that old… many Ugandans look deceptively young…

I immediately assumed that I would not be seeing her again this term… I was wrong…

The next week she came to chapel and was asked to share with the students… as she stood there staring at us a tear slowly rolled down from the corner of her eye… sitting there in the front row I felt I should do something…

Find a handkerchief… give her a hug… move the program forward and relieve the pressure for her to share…

But when I looked up again… Mary Wasige was standing there with her draping her arm around her waist… and Apolot Clare was wiping the tears with her own handkerchief…

She shared her love for her son and the story of his dying moments as she held his hand in their home… and then she sat and the chapel continued…

I immediately assumed that I would not be seeing her again in my class… I was wrong…

The next day she sat in the second row of my theology class… taking her quiz…

She has been in class everyday since…

I don’t think I would respond the same to the death of my child… but then again it is her grief and not mine…

I don’t know if I could stand before a group of peers… share the story and then join them in the daily routine… but it is her grief and not mine…

I don’t know what it would be like for death to be painful yet… I can’t think of a word… Common? Expected? Anticipated?

Or maybe it is the grace and dignity of a mother who knows she loved her son and was ready to see him back to His maker… either way I don’t know if I want to understand… maybe I can just appreciate the opportunity to observe the grief of a mother who truly loved her son…

1 comment:

Teenietinyt said...

I knew of those boys...I am so sad for the family.