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April 18, 2017

Beauty in the ashes

Today is my sister's birthday. Great, I said it! Leh we talk bout me cuh I de most important right?

In January of 1993 my mom's first born Viviana became very ill. What started as the flu turned out to be bacterial meningitis. If you know anything about the illness you know that if not immediately treated death is a given. This was the case with Vivi and so she was rushed to Curacao where she was treated but as the days went by things seemed to look dim. My mom was told to give up on her comatose daughter. The doctors saw no reason to keep my sister on life support. "She is unresponsive. She can't breathe on her own, her brain is not working. Let her go." My mother, a deeply religious  and stubborn woman began to pray instead. She continued to do so not alone but with her family, friends, island, islands, and churches from all of the world. It would seem as if God answered their prayers for my sister's existence is nothing short of a miracle. The girl who would never have a normal life even if she pulled through is 36 today. She fought her way out of an eight day coma and thirteen days of being in the ICU.

On March 8th my mom and sister returned to Statia and everyone saw nothing but a miracle. What people tend to forget is that God answers prayers in the way He sees fit. My sister was cured but left with epilepsy as a result of her ordeal. My mom was left with something far more special a renewed faith in God and something a little extra. You see after being away from home for such a long time God decided to answer my sister's prayer for a sister. She had been praying for this for years.  Vivi like my mother did not pray alone. Rather she enlisted my cousins to pray with her and finally on November 30th 1993 the doctor announced that a girl had been born.
The bible tells of a time when Jesus went into a synagogue and began to read from Isaiah 61 and while He was driven out before he could get to the good part I will continue with verse three. "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3, KJV) The promise is beauty for ashes is one that stands out to me. My parents never imagined that from their pain and fright two miracles would come.

Today I am reminded that my sister's life is the miracle that made my life possible. I am forever grateful to her for her love and support. I love her for loving me when I felt as if no one did. She has cared for me in the most amazing ways, filling my belly and my heart. Viviana is a phenomenal woman. She has the voice of an angel and could probably sell out stadiums yet she chooses to follow the path of a teacher. One that requires humility, patience and grace. She is longsuffering, (sometimes) slow to anger and abounding in love. My sister is the best and I want to wish her a very happy birthday.

That's enough mush for one day.

Me, Mama and Vivi