May has been a tough month for the Cabrini Ministries’ family.
My last blog post was about the death of two toddlers connected with the organization who drowned in the canal. Unfortunately, this post is also about death. Yesterday we found out that our night watchman Matthew had passed away. He had been battling tuberculosis and other complications for several months now, so it wasn’t out of the blue. But, to make matter’s worse, Matthew’s son Mfundi is also an employee, so the impact is doubled.
Matthew didn’t speak much English, but he was one of the Cabrini employees that we interacted with most often. As the night watchman, he often hung out by our door and we frequently shared our dinners with him. Mikayla was particularly found of Matthew and would run up to him and try to have long conversations with him. He was just smile and say “Yes Sisi (sister).”
Even though his shift was primarily over night, he would often cut the grass in our front yard with a machete in the dawn and dusk hours. Many a summer mornings I woke up to the sound of methodical slashing coming from outside.
Matthew was mostly soft-spoken, but when given the chance, he would gladly share from the bottom of his heart how blessed he felt in his life.
He was not without his faults, but he was still a great guy and earnest in his love of Cabrini Ministries and its work. Sister Barbara was always fond of saying tongue in cheek: "The only security issues we have are with our security staff." The truth is, whether or not we were safer because of his services is debatable, but what is unquestioned is that Cabrini as a whole was better off for having him as part of the staff.
This isn’t the first time I have had a co-worker pass away, but anytime it happens, it is difficult.Like I said… May has been a tough month for us. Here is hoping June looks better.