Love Thursday: A mother's love

Can you spot the differences between this photo
and this one?

Both show a mother with her child on her lap. But the first photo is one of me and the Pea on vacation, the second photo comes from sub-Saharan Africa, where AIDS, malaria and TB are part of life. Which means....

My life expectancy as a person living in the USA is about 77 1/2 years. The prevalance of AIDS and other infectious diseases have shortened this woman's life expectancy by as much as 15 years, to just 48 years.

My chances of having AIDS or HIV are nil. It is highly likely that she is infected, because the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is 8.7%. If she lives in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Zambia or Zimbabwe, her chances are even worse; 20% or more of adults there have AIDS.

Her baby is incredibly lucky to have survived his first year, because infant mortality in Africa is about 10%, or 10 deaths in every hundred babies before they reach a year old. Ours in the USA is 7 deaths per thousand.

But the love that mother has for her baby is no less than the love I have for mine. And this is what breaks my heart. I was moved to tears by American Idol's Idol Gives Back special fundraising event. I turned the TV on to see Melinda Doolittle sing and Chris Richardson get kicked off. Instead I saw incredible images of poverty, both here and in Africa. I saw Simon looking sick, his expression of perpetual boredom wiped from his face. I imagined my children dying of malaria when a $2 tablet could have saved them.

I thought, if every one of the 30 million people that watch Idol gave just $5, and that was matched by contributions from businesses and celebrities and wealthy individulas, think how much we could do to help! So for the first time in my life, I picked up the phone for American Idol.

For more expressions of love, click here.


Heaven said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Your post made me cry.

Our church is fundraising right now for hungry children in Africa, there is a story of parents feeding their children clay cookies to fill their hungry tummies until food arrives. Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming but every little bit helps. Thanks for doing your part.

Julie said...

Beautiful post. I blogged about this yesterday at the behest of Mary (at Owlhaven), but not nearly as eloquently. I don't watch Idol, but I'll certainly be donating. Thanks for the call to action.

Vedrana M. said...

wonderful post, just wonderful.. xoxo

Curatrix said...

I think this one belongs on SVMoms. Someone else blogged on this topic already but yours, IMHO, is really touches the heart.