My beautiful plant was dead.
Or so I thought.
All I saw were dead flowers…brown, dry.
I had forgotten to water my plant.
As I got closer, I saw one bud.
One bud trying to grow.
One bud trying to bloom.
I felt led to prune the plant of the dead flowers.
As I worked, I saw another bud.
Very small, but there.
I then saw another one.
Then three more.
Bright, pink, beautiful.
Fighting to bloom.
Fighting to become the flowers they were meant to be.
I thought about my sisters with fistula.
In places like Angola, the Congo, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, these women and girls are viewed as lost lives worth nothing.
Fistula, a preventable birth injury, leaves them on the outside looking in.
They are essentially viewed as dead to the world.
However, these sisters are resilient.
These sisters are fighting just like the small buds on my plant.
These sisters want to live…to bloom.
One of the sisters we met in Angola we call “Luisa”.
We met her in Kalukembe.
She was strong, yet hurting.
After nine fistula surgeries she still leaked urine.
In her soft voice she said that she wanted to be healed.
She ran a small market in the patient village.
She sold items to pay her one-dollar daily fee to live there.
She stood proudly behind her small market.
We bought from her evaporated milk.
We overpaid by one dollar.
She acted as if we had given her a fortune.
I wonder if I would give up after nine unsuccessful surgeries.
I wonder if I would see any reason to try again.
Luisa never gave up hope.
She pursued her tenth surgery.
Her tenth surgery failed.
Tears, frustration, heartbreak.
“Let’s try again.”
Luisa, this flower wanting to bloom, has bloomed!
Her eleventh fistula surgery was successful.
She is dry!
She is free from the chains of fistula.
She is free to live.
Those who have supported our sisters with fistula have showered hope on these precious women and girls.
Hope, like water, has been poured over them enabling them to hang on.
To try again.
To hope in healing.
They are like beautiful buds wanting to grow.
Buds with the ability to bring great beauty to the world.
Let’s keep the water flowing.
Let’s enable more flowers to bloom!
© 2014 by Brooke F Sulahian