A short while ago I was asked to visit a man in his 60s dying of cancer. He had been successfully treated for his disease some 8 years ago, but in the past few weeks the disease had reared its ugly head with force and his final decline had been rapid.
Just a few weeks before Don Juan had been to the health centre his usual gentle self, still full of life and love for his 8 daughters. Now he was prostrate in bed, struggling to breathe. His wife hovered by his side, and his daughters were attentive to his every need.
As we fixed up the oxygen concentrator to ease his suffering, I knew he did not have much time left in this world. I knew his daughters well. The twenty year old who had recently graduated from Secondary school through the sewing project and now with a baby boy of her own. The mother of two cute little boys who always came to the health centre when under the weather. The granddaughter who had also graduated from Secondary school recently through the sewing project who was training to be a police woman. They all spoke of him as an excellent father.
"I can only say he has been a gentle, good father." One of them confided. "He always did all he could to help us. We are going to miss him terribly."
Witnessing death always make me stop and wonder and worship. It makes me pause and reflect on time gone and yet to come.
And then the whirl of life continues; my little girls who want to paint and jump on a trampoline, and Don Juan´s youngest daughter who wanted to be able to continue to go to school.
When I told 14 year old Lorena I had a sponsor who would help her continue to go to school her grief etched face broke into a beautiful smile. "You are an angel." She exclaimed. Hope began to fill the future with happiness once more.