Saturday morning coffee overlooking the Broadwater, only 10 minutes walk from home (except that I drove). Life is good. Surrounded by people enjoying their morning coffee and conversations. No sharp, jagged, dangerous bits to be seen. Just plenty of sun, water and pelicans.
At times like these you could close your eyes and imagine . . . well, whatever you wanted to.
But even here and now, reality has a habit of crowding out such thoughts. There it was on my ipad, in the midst of the news from Gaza and the Ukraine:
The Thai surrogate mother of a baby with Down syndrome who was abandoned by its Australian parents says she has been left to provide for the child she has named Gammy, who also suffers from a life-threatening heart condition. The woman gave birth to twins but the Australian couple who engaged her abandoned the boy and took his healthy sister home with them.
My first urge was to write about those Australian parents, flying out with their perfect, designer label daughter, leaving the factory reject son behind. However I find I can’t summon the enthusiasm. I would much rather write about the two other people in the story who, the way I see it, are definitely worth writing about.
It seems to me the young Thai woman who carried Gammy inside her body for nine months is every bit the mother Gammy needs, even though she is not biologically related to him. I am full of admiration for her. She has very little materially, but what she has is something Gammy’s biological parents do not have: Mercy and love in abundance. I hope and pray that in the years ahead, this young woman is sustained in her mothering, and rewarded with Gammy’s love. What a rich and authentic person she is, in ways that count.
For those of us who sit with our morning coffee amidst the sunshine and the pelicans and imagine life is good, she stands out as a saint, a heroine, a person who points out what is important and lasting amidst the cheap and superficial. Thank you young lady. You are better and holier than you know. Life is good and this morning you have reminded me of how and why it is.
Life may appear to have dealt the little boy Gammy short, and indeed it has, if we use the criteria that first come to mind. Abandoned by his biological parents, rejected as worthless junk. A life-threatening heart condition will also probably mean his time with us will be short. At least though, one person cannot bring herself to throw him away. He has someone to love him and care for him, regardless of the cost and the inconvenience. Gammy may not realise it straight away but that is worth more than gold. In at least one person’s eyes he is worthwhile, independent of what he is capable of being or doing.
As I drain my coffee I cannot help but thank God for these two unlikely people, whose story has reminded me of what matters.
God doesn’t make junk Gammy. Your mother is his reminder to you of that.