What do we take with us when we go to God?
They came as a family. The father carried the youngest child, still in nappies, as he settled at the back of the office. The mother sat next to the two older children. The little girl was fashionably dressed in cut-off top, platform sandals and hipster jeans. Her younger brother in a colourful soft T-shirt and baggies, walked around, inspecting my bookcase and photographs. He came to a halt at my desk, standing on his toes to see what I had on the desktop. His chubby little hand, picked up my magnifying glass which I use to look into the iris of patients. He switched the light on and off, taking note of how it worked, then he placed it where he had found it. His black hair framed his soft, still babyish features in a frame of curls.
“What’s your name?” he said.
“Come and sit down!” His mother intervened.
“My name is Irma” , I answered him.
“My name is Abraham”, he replied.
“Hello Abraham. How old are you?” I asked.
He held up his fingers, shut tightly into his hand like a fist. One by one he counted his earth years, one, two, three. He looked at me sideways, the nearly black eyes, long heavy lashes and dark prominent eyebrows, now wanting to look directly into my eyes.
“Don’t lie, Abraham! You are four years old! Since he was going to be four he started to cry that he did not want to get old. Now he tells everybody that he is only three years old! He says if he gets four years old he will die. I don’t know what to tell this child. He talks about things which are strange for a child. He is not like my other two children.” The words were rushing from the mother’s worried mind. The father sat quietly listening to his wife’s description of his son, his face expressing a kind of wonderment but also feeling at a loss as to his involvement with a child who was patently different to the norm.