Saturday, February 14, 2015

Daniel's Words Of Wisdom

We have a Haitian Hearts patient, Daniel, who had heart valve surgery last year. He is recuperating in the United States as he learns to regulate the blood thinners that he will have to take for the rest of his life. 

Daniel sends us frequent, grateful tests and emails in his fractured English. But somehow, even though he confuses his pronouns and makes other grammatical mistakes, his messages are more true than if they were written in the King's English. Read the following and see if you know what I mean.

Hi dr John how are you and your familly all is fine ok for me good by thank God. I say thank you Jesus and you too ok you miss me so much, I love love love you fore ever God bless you, good job dr John by
Hi dr John my good Daddy! How are we all is good by thank God? For me it's ok. God bless you Dad ok have a good day hi for your wife
         Hi Dr John this is Daniel, how are you doing and your family, i think by thanks God everything          is good for you. For me it's well because Jesus is very good for we. Ok the pleasure is mine to              write you for tell you: Happy birth day to you my Dad I love you so much and I ask and praying          God for just for give you a long time the life and blessing you for ever ! Hi for your family and             have a good night by Thanks God I love you Daddy bye !!!
Hi Dr John this is Daniel, how are you doing and your family everything is fine with Jesus ? THe check today is 2.9 it's good. Don't forget I would like to go in your home please ok have a good night with Jesus hi for your wife God bless we and I love you so much Daddy ! 
         Hi dr. John how are you today ? This is Daniel anything is good so thank you so much for                    contact your searching for me oh i love you so so much ! good job my Dad I think God can                  open  more doors for and me, protect you in all danger hi for your wife  and I love we !

         I'm Daniel dr John how are you and your wife im for she. Don't worry because God is big and I          trust in him, I took my responsability I'm never miss my medication. ok God bless you, I love                you Dad !
Hi Dr. John. this is Daniel, how are you today? Your wife is well hi for her, have a good night with Jesus i love us.
          Hi dr John how are you today ? I'm so great because my coaguChek car is working right by               thanks God so the results is: 2.6 okay have a good afternoon with the big Jesus my defenser                 bye love you !
Immigration writed me, he said he works for me.

My favorite phrases:  Hi Dr. John, my good daddy; ok have a good night with Jesus; God bless we;
good job my Dad; I love we; Don't worry because God is big; your wife is well hi for her have a good night with Jesus i love us; have a good afternoon with the big Jesus my defenser.

And last and most improbably: immigration writed me, he said he works for me.

Daniel, I hope it's so.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Circumscribed lives

Above are two pictures of Anderson. On the top John is examining him in 2000. Anderson has a small hole between the lower two chambers of his heart, but fortunately this defect doesn't affect his heart's functioning.

The picture below was taken yesterday by John. Here is what he wrote in his email accompanying it:

Haiti is chucked full of young men and women just like him that are so aggressive and want to make something of themselves. He will stare away from me sometimes and think of his future and he shakes his head no....there is a sadness about him at age he thinks his dreams are not going to work...he made the shirt you see...he made it from cloth and he went to a sewing school when he left here this morning..he says he is learning how to make pants now...I felt so sorry for him. Gave him 15 dollars US....think about him, Maria, and we need to remember to push Luke as hard as possible...
So, this raises some questions I frequently think about. Anderson is not the poorest of the poor in Haiti. But he has much potential and talent that is not being developed because of where he lives, his life circumstances. Typically, we feel badly for the person living in poverty--Anderson--but this this loss of what he could contribute to the world is a huge loss for ALL OF US.

As many of you know, John and I adopted Luke from Haiti. He is flourishing here, and we are grateful. But there are thousands of kids in orphanages in Haiti and millions more with their families who don't get the opportunities that Luke and many of the children who were born in developed countries have.

The flip side of this consideration is the one John alludes to when he says we need to push Luke. Those of us who have had the good fortune to be born in a circumstance--or who make their way to a circumstance--that allows us to develop and contribute need to push ourselves and not just sit around watching TV and eating chocolate. I remember John examining a patient whose situation was especially hard asking, "Why was I born in the United States and Jean Baptiste was born here?" This fact made such a profound difference in their life paths. On this side of eternity, it's an unanswerable question. But the important thing for those of us who do have these huge advantages is not to squander them. We must follow God's will, or further the process of evolution, or make a contribution to the world or however you want to put it. Just do something to make yourself a better person and to help others. Everyday.

I've started a blog about life at and I invite you to check it out.