Weary, is how the mother looks. Her eyes are full of pain and her face shows the stress of extreme heat. Tears stain the light film of dust gathering in the folds and deepening lines beneath her eyes. . She is looking directly into the camera as her words whisper through her cracked lips. She is holding her baby, his head curled into the crook of her neck. Clothed only in a diaper, he hangs limply against her body. His mother turns, so we can see his face resting against her shoulder. His red flaming cheeks, his closed eyes, and the stillness of his torso tell of his defeat. She pleads for help. With no water, her baby has become overheated and lethargic.
This is the heartbreaking image still playing in my mind, one of the many fallen faces hurt from the horror of Katrina. I heard this mother plead and watched her tears fall. Thinking all the time, of the mothers I know, whose children are too fragile to live through such cruel chaos.
I imagine these mothers-desperate for food and water and without the necessary medication their children require. Plenty of heat, little rest, and nothing to strengthen their weakening little ones.
And today I give thanks, as we move throughout our day. Traveling …to therapists and doctors offices, to my daughter’s schools, to the pharmacy for medicine refills, to grocery stores for food, and finally, we return to our home.
Our home that is still standing and exactly how we left it…
And at the end of the night, when I kiss my daughters red rosebud lips , it is hard to forget the red flaming cheeks on that baby boy, and the many fallen faces Katrina left behind.