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The HareLipped Baby May 25, 2010

The Hare-Lipped Baby

Crying Baby
In my dorm, I always hear this crying baby. She cries nearly 100% of her waking time - practically the whole day and some nights too. I'm a Dad too. I know a cry of hunger or a cry for diaper change. It wasn't anything like that. It was a cry of pain. The baby was in constant pain. No, she wasn't being tortured or anything. The mother and the grandparents (who also share my dorm) are nurturing, attentive and tasked practically to their limits with the baby. I was wondering what could be wrong with the baby. I've never seen her...just her cries.

I get annoyed by crying babies. I remember as a kid, I couldn't stand the cries of my baby brother - I'd go into my room and seal all openings to deaden the outside noise. But on this baby, even if she cries as I go to sleep, surprisingly specially to me, I never got annoyed. Instead, I felt compassion for the baby for being in such pain (as I was imagining it) and to the mother and grandparents who hardly get any rest. I'm not really a compassionate guy...maybe it's my Vipassana meditation. This crying went on for over a month until I chanced on talking to the grandfather who was snuggling the baby. I noticed the baby had a harelip. Ah! Maybe that's the cause of her pain. No wonder she was crying most of the time.

The Newspaper Ad
Interestingly enough, that same day, I went to a town plaza I haven't been to before, went to a public library and read a newspaper. That's odd. I never go to a public library and I don't read newspapers. But I did anyway, and advertized boldly on the paper was a picture of a hare-lipped baby...and more importantly, the free service offered by an institution to surgically rectify such condition for free! What are the odds that all these events would happen on the same day?

The Hunt for the Newspaper
I couldn't take the newspaper as it was property of the I decided I'll buy one when I get outside. And then I forgot! A day wouldn't pass without me thinking about that newspaper. I was haunted by the disparity between the small effort on my part and the world of difference that potentially awaits the baby. I got restless. I looked for it after a few days but couldn't find old newspapers being sold. And I forgot the exact date. I tried many news shops but in vain. This morning, after trying a few magazine stands, I finally found it. Eureka!

Ending Thoughts
I gave the newspaper to the grandmother. The information is now in capable hands who'll do something about it. Case closed. I can now resume my life hoping that my little effort will bring a smile to that face for the rest of her life. Good luck baby! I don't even know your name. And yes, there is no such thing as coincidence.

--- TheLoneRider

    Related Links:
  • Smile Train - offering free cleft surgery for every child in the Philippines who cannot affort it
  • Holy Child Hospital - a Smile Train partner hospital offering free cleft surgery in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
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