Serge received a phone call from Maman Deborah yesterday about noon... Denise had died.
Denise was a widowed mother of five children between the ages of 11 and 21. She lost her husband in 1999 and moved back to Rwanda the following year to live with her mom in the family home. She was an entrepreneur, a business woman who travelled in East Africa to bring wares to sell. She supported her family.
She also knew some English and I enjoyed my little chats with her over the years. I would often sit beside her at Ubuzima. You see, Denise was HIV positive... her five kids are as well.
Last Wednesday, we took the team to visit Denise as she had just come home from the hospital recovering from what I understood to be heart palpitations. I could see that her breathing was still laboured. Well, turns out she took a trip to Tanzania on the week-end for business, and she died on the way home. How sad. I can't imagine...
|The Faith Lutheran Team with Denise (yellow circle) and her |
mom and her youngest son (front row, standing)
When we were with her, I wanted her to share how she lives with HIV/AIDS. She wouldn't share as her mother was sitting with us and she doesn't know. She didnt' want her mother to worry about her or cause her stress. I wonder if she knows now? I was just texting with Maman Deborah for a bit just now... she's wondering how she is going to go and tell the mother the truth. Someone needs to keep looking after the children who are HIV positive. Now I wonder... do the children know their status? I don't know...
What I do know is that Denise's faith in God was rock solid. She loved the Lord and gave him all the honor and glory in her life. I remember her saying last Wednesday that no matter what may come in life, God would lead her through. May her children remember this about their mother.
I will miss you Denise.