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July 19, 2006

Charles

19 July 2006 I met an angel today. His name is Charles, and he agreed to let me share his story with you. I met Charles at the TASO Children's Clinic. He wasn't there as a client, he was there as a guardian. Charles' parents died of AIDS. He is the eldest of 6 boys. The youngest boy, James (age 5) is HIV+. Charles took off school today to bring James to the clinic. James clung to Charles, like a child clings to a mother. Charles is only 14 years old. He has so much on his mind - caring for 5 children, cooking dinner every night, making sure James gets the proper medical care, cleaning, and going to school. When Charles goes to school, James stays home alone. The home they live in is unsafe; it's made with mud and bricks, and could easily collapse during the rainy season. Charles can't afford to cement his home, he must first feed his family. charles and james.jpg Charles works hard. Charles stands tall and carries on. He looks and acts much older than 14. I suppose he became a parent long before his mother and father actually died. When I looked at Charles and saw his resilience, his stamina, his courage, his complete selflessness, his spirit, I wondered, what does he wish for? what does he want to be when he grows up? does he laugh anymore? or sing? how does he do it? does he know how wonderful he is? does he know he's an angel? He will wake up tomorrow and face another day. It's too bad, though, that he has to do this alone. He has no support, no one to comfort him. He is the mother and the father, and he is a child. big brother.jpg

Posted by kmf23 at July 19, 2006 09:24 PM

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Comments

Your so right Kelly. I believe there are angels on this earth dressed to look like people. The birthday picture of your Dad made me cry. I know your safe because there are angels all around you. Plus I think you are one!

Posted by: Aunt Ann at July 21, 2006 03:19 PM

So much love...

Posted by: Amy Saba at July 20, 2006 05:17 PM

I too am moved by this young man. Kelly, you are right in saying that he's an angel.

Posted by: Loretta at July 20, 2006 06:05 AM

I WAS VERY MOVED BY THE STORY OF CHARLES. A REAL MENSCH.

Posted by: MARVIN at July 20, 2006 03:16 AM

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