I have spent the last few days working in the regional office in Nairobi. It is important work, even if we are just seeing the walls of the office and not seeing the actual projects.
Last night I thought a great deal of James, the four year old I saw on Monday in the slums of Nairobi. (See my last post.) On Monday evening I was angry with James’ mother. I knew I couldn’t, but I wanted to ask the grandmother what she thought of her daughter leaving them. I wondered at what kind of mother would do that to her child.
My thoughts have turned in the last few days.
As I thought again of walking through the slums of Nairobi I again realized the huge difficulty it is just living in that environment. These slums were some of the most difficult I have seen anywhere. I cannot imagine living in this slum and I have not walked in the shoes of James’ mother. I cannot imagine the pressures on her – being a single mother in that environment and having a child with such a profound disability. I cannot imagine how she thought of the future with no support systems to help her. I cannot imagine the pressures that could force her to make that fateful decision to leave.
Last night I wondered if James’ mother thinks of her missing child and wonders what could have been. I know it would not have been easy for her to leave James with her mother. I wondered if she was also thinking of James last night.
Maybe, just maybe, she will come back and see that with the support James is getting she can once again be his mother. In any case, the image of tiny James, lying on that sack cloth having his muscles stretched will stay with me for a long time.