Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Black Bag... finally putting it to paper.

You all know that sometimes my life gets very crazy, busy, overwhelming.

Somedays I have moments where I say... "what the heck have we gotten ourselves into here"

Today i was reminded exactly what the heck, and why the heck we have made the life choices that we have...

I had no idea I would be writing this today.  I have written it clinically... leaving out 90% of the detail that floods my mind... I just need to get it on paper tonight.  It is time.

I had gone out to the garage with emily to bring out some toys... a ball, a tricycle, a sit and spin.  Emily was running gleefully up and down, up and down shea's new ramp.  She's 1 1/2 years old and so independent, so adventurous.  The other kids were all at school still.

It was at that moment that I saw it.  The Black Bag.  It was just a black garbage bag filled with junk that the contractor had left behind from our recent ramp installation....  but in that moment I felt sick to my stomach, and froze for a while, not realizing until later that there were tears in my eyes.

I'm a pretty strong woman most of the time, ...darn strong I would dare say.... I mean mentally, not necessarily physically.

It takes a lot to shake me.  I don't have a weak stomach.  I'm not a girly girl.

But I can't be in a room with a black garbage bag without loosing my cool. 

During my first service in  C****, I was one of the workers allowed to make frequent visits to the dying room.  Because of my medical background they thought I might have a keen eye to help choose which babies might actually survive if "rescued" from the dying room and taken to the orphanage.  ( you see there was never enough room for all the abandoned children to make it to the orphanage... many never made it even that far )  I was really there to hold, touch, pray for and love on the ones who would not make it to the next week or next morning....

On more than one occasion, babes I had held in my arms one day, were cold and still the next.  I would tell the workers we had lost another.  To them it was a way of life... for me it was years to come of cold sweats and dreams in the middle of the night.

The intensity of these memories has faded for me... but I still can't stomach black garbage bags.  I don't know how to write it other than...honestly....

when I discovered a babe who had passed on to be with God... a male staff person would come to remove the body.  I know their spirit was in heaven....but it still didn't make watching their physical body leave the room any easier. 

The worker would place them in a black garbage bag.

This worker was a young man, who had grown up in the orphanage himself.  He was mentally challenged and physically challenged himself...but functional enough to earn a living.  This was a part of his job....he was a good man.

That in itself would be enough to explain why I detest The Black Bag.... however there is more.

There was a boy that came to the dying room.  I don't remember his actual age, but he appeared to be 4 or 5.  His parents had left him at the local hospital.  They couldn't pay his medical bills, and they had fled.  He had accidentally ingested some type of poison / cleaner / chemical.  The hospital sent him to the dying rooms because there was no one to foot the bill.  I sat with him daily, and watched him fade, and prayed his soul to heaven.  My heart is still broken for him. 

He was gone.  I had to tell the young man that we needed him removed from his bed... The young man came with that
bag    .  .   .   .

Again, I don't know how to write this other than honestly.  This man struggled... the boy's body was much heavier and larger than the babies were that he normally cared for.  He struggled... and struggled some more.

The young man..
the body

I choked as more than once the young man began to drop, or let slip the body of this dear boy.  I could watch no longer.  I knew his soul was not there... but I would not let this go on.  I don't fault the young man.  He was trying to do his job the best that he could, and he knew no other life.  This was "normal" to him.   I felt nearly as heart broken for the man as I did for the boy.

It had to stop...
I helped him place the boys body gently into the black garbage bag.... now it was done.
I placed the boys body into the black garbage bag.
I put a boy in a black bag...

I will never regret helping.... I will never forgive myself for helping...

that is why I despise black garbage bags...

That is why no matter how much I may want to throw in the towel some days because my life is "too hard" and not convenient...none of that really matters... I would do it all over again a million times.  This is "what the heck we have gotten ourselves into" ... and I wouldn't change it....


  1. ♥ loving you even more so.

  2. You are a very strong woman. Praying for your peace.

  3. Elizabeth I am balling for your memories, for those children and I am so so moved by your willingness to be a light in darkness even though it cost you dearly in so many ways! I am inspired and proud that you are willing to share your heart and making yourself vulnerable makes you my hero right now! You are beyond God's child and I am so so committed to praying for you guys all the time! What you're doing for those beautiful children touches so many people those who know you and those who don't! I really can picture writing a book that will open hearts! You have a story to tell...praying for peace for you tonight! You're amazing and so is our Lord!

  4. Oh Liz...I don't know what to say. I have no words. I'm so very sorry. So sorry for all of those babies. Oh how Jesus must weep over them. I'm so sorry for all that you have seen.

    I needed this perspective today. Thank you. (I just linked to this post on my blog. Hope that's ok.)

  5. I have never read a story that touched my heart the way this one did. God bless you, Liz and Dan, for the love you bring to your family and the inspiration you bring to all of us.

  6. having one of those days myself..... so much of a battle...seems like the harder we fight the harder the enemy does...

    thank you for this reminder...this check up... this reality...

  7. ♥ I have read this blog at least ten times. I see the face of my daughter peering out of a black garbage bag, only she is smiling at me. a Liz phrase, "So bittersweet". Dear Heavenly Father, Sweet Jesus, Precious Holy Spirit: You have showed us how to Love, You have showed us how to Help, You have showed us.....Show me again, Show me again. Show me again. And May I SEE!! Amen.