Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie) has a new best-selling book out called Finding Chika.
Chika was born 3 days before the 2010 earthquake decimated Haiti. When Chika’s mother dies, she is admitted to an orphanage Mitch Albom and his wife Janine operate in Port-au-Prince. At age 5 Chika is diagnosed with a brain-cancer for which there is no cure. With no children of their own, Mitch and his wife bring Chika to live with them in Michigan. They try every means possible to find a cure for her. In the process Chika transforms their lives before she goes home to the Lord. One passage in Finding Chika, particularly got my attention…..Mitch Albom writes about a dialogue he had with Chika and how he came to realize that “his job was to carry her.”
One afternoon, when you could no longer walk on you own, we were coloring at the kitchen table. I glanced at my watch and realized I was late. I stood up.
“Sorry, Chika, I have to go.
“No, no,” you protested. “Stay and color.”
“Chika, I have to work.”
“Mister Mitch, I have to play.”
“But this is my job.”
“No, it’s not!” You crossed your arms. “Your job is carrying me.”
I have thought about that sentence more than you could imagine. At the time, I laughed it off as you being your loving, bossy self. But the more you weakened, the more you needed me to transport you even across the room, the more I realized the wisdom of your words. Your job is carrying me. That line became the underpinning of the final item on my list (of what you taught me), maybe the biggest lesson you taught me.
What we carry defines who we are.
And the effort we make is our legacy……
What you carry is what defines you. It can be the burden of feeding your family, the responsibility of carrying for parents, the good you feel you must do for others, or the sins you will not release. Whatever it is, we all carry something, every day. And for all your time with us – as you so defiantly stated, Chika – my job is carrying you.
My job was – and is – carrying your brothers and sisters in the orphanage.
How are you defined by who or what you carry?