Babies Raquelina and Francisco were the tiniest of tiny babes brought to us by a desperate mother too sick to feed her newborn twins. [See “Hope For Today” below, Feb 2012.]
They lived in the nursery for a couple of months; he quickly thrived but she struggled, never quite able to win the battle over her many health issues. She was eventually admitted to Hospital Central, the main hospital in Maputo.
A tia was employed to stay with her day and night. We visited, we prayed. The children prayed, the pastors and staff prayed. The church prayed, friends all over the world prayed. We have seen miracles in the lives of our babies so often and, from these testimonies of healing, we gained hope.
Precious, fragile, tiny Raquelina never gained ground physically and she died within two weeks of being admitted to the hospital.
Her twin Francisco continues to grow strong and healthy. He’s full of life and laughter, smiles and mischief as he achieves all his milestones ahead of time. He’s the youngest of seven babies currently in the nursery, he notices everything, learns from watching the older babies and he already walks with assistance and holds his own bottle.
There are no words to describe the loss of Raquelina. I hold Francisco close at bedtime as he snuggles in for one last cuddle, thumb in mouth, cheek buried into my neck, before I put him into his cot for the night.
Francisco spent the first two months of his life in the same crib as his twin and now he sleeps alone. Words fail me.
I am a twin. My twin brother is one of my greatest supporters, a solid rock to me as I live this crazy African adventure that has become my life. He is a vocal member of the cheer squad that keeps me going. It is hard to describe “twinness” to non-twins in a way that captures the bond and expresses the heart at the centre of having shared so much from the very beginning. I am rich with family and being a twin makes me even richer.
I watch Francisco sleep and my heart breaks for him. I think of Raquelina but my thoughts go no further. I do not know what, or how, to think. One babe lives and will have a full and active life. Yet, his sister is no longer sleeping next to him.
Words truly fail me.
Rest in peace, Baby Raquelina, no longer suffering but held in your Heavenly Papa’s arms forever.