RIP Sweet Baby Girl
Waking up on April 15th/2009, no one expected anything out of the ordinary around the Hero Holiday house. We crawled out of bed, and got ready to go meet up with the group for their last day in Mexico. But before we left the house that morning our normally happy, euphoric way of life was threatening to crumble around us.
Living in Mexico has been a blur of unbelievable experiences, we constantly meet amazing people and we’re always doing things that seem worthy of the movie screen … not everyday life. And although we are surrounded by poverty and hardship, there is always a positive feeling of calm around us. So when our interpreter and friend Santiago took his pregnant wife, Julia, to the hospital on the 14th, our hopes were high that things would work out well. Even after baby Betsebet Nicole was delivered prematurely and rushed to Ensenada, her daddy close behind … we maintained a positive outlook on the situation. There is better care in Ensenada, they’ll get her healthy and they’ll come home. We awoke on the 15th to the terrible news that Betsebet had only lived a short 15 hours of life, not even long enough to meet her mother. It was obvious that everyone of our hearts broke, aching for the loss our close friends had just experienced.
We stumbled through the next few days finishing off with our group, making preparations for a memorial at Santiago’s house, and asking some very difficult questions about life. Nothing makes the state of a country more obvious than when it touches you personally. I find it really hard not to wonder how things would have worked out if this had happened in Canada. Would Julia have received better care? Would Betsebet have had a better chance at survival? Would our friends be stressing over lack of sleep and where to put the cradle right now, instead of funeral preparations?Although babies and young children are lost daily all over the world, the sad reality is that its more likely in countries like Mexico. Countries where good health care is harder to come by, where transportation to the hospital and even the paycheck to pay for it all are harder to come by. Betsabet was buried in an over crowed cemetery, where a large group of the graves are occupied by young children and infants. Walking through that cemetery, she is but another child who was lost before reaching the age of 5. Only in this case, she is the face and the name of a little girl we were expectantly waiting to meet.
I know that none of us, especially her parents, can make sense of how such a sweet baby girl could possibly be lost this early in life. Perhaps not a single person, anywhere, can really find an answer to that question. But the loss of her life has no doubt affected us all. She has reminded us all of how precious life is, and given us all a new reason to try to affect change in this world. Everyone should be given a fair chance at life.
It’s been a sad few days in the neighborhood, and all we can do is remember her short life and hold onto the presence she had in this world.
RIP Sweet Baby Girl.
Written by Kristi – School of Leadership Student