Real Medicine

Letter to the Neonates

I know you will probably never read this, but I hope you will one day grow to be able to read. I hope that you will attend a school that has electricity and running water and teachers that love their job.

I want you to know that you inspire me. When I see you in your incubator, your entire body fighting to breathe, you give me hope. And I want to bless you – not in the name of any deity per se, just a blessing. You will be a leader. You will be strong. You will be protected. 

When you and the other neonates in this ward grow older, I hope that we will see a reduction in HIV rates and teenage pregnancies. And I hope that you will become part of a generation that will change this country. Maybe even the world.

I believe in the power of affirmation. Maybe that’s not very scientific of me, but that’s okay.

I hope that my peers, who will become your teachers and your flight hostesses, your bus drivers, your engineers – that they will bless you and your peers in the way that they serve this country.

Dear little neonate, because you give me hope I want to give you hope. I want to give you a country worth living in.

At this point the future seems dark. I become bitter and skeptical about it all sometimes.

But I heard you scream today, announcing your presence to the world, and I held you when you cried, and your trust in the comfort inspired me. Right now you are entirely innocent. Right now, you are purity incarnate. And I wish I could preserve and protect that for as long as possible.

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