BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the single mother's story

I was fighting back tears as I walked out of the building. Her story ripped my heart. How, I wonder, does she manage being a single mother to four children including one with Down Syndrome?

Her husband, their father, just walked away one day in the dead of night, leaving all the burden to her. One day, after so many years, he just showed up again. And then he left again. And then the cycle continued.

He breaks her heart again and again. And their children's hearts, too.

"It has become a joke among my children," she said during the interview.

"'Hey daddy is here. Let's cook dinner. Let's celebrate' My children would say in jest," she said.

Left with no choice, she had to give up two of her three daughters for adoption. She had to focus on taking care of the little one with Down.

Why did I cry?

Because I wonder how she could take it all. Her wrinkles and white hair could not conceal her pain. Yet she manages to smile. The strength of the human spirit is indeed unbelievable.