The first time I became aware of Ethiopia was in 1984. I was vaguely aware of the famine that was ravaging the country; I'm sure it was on the news, but I only have fuzzy memories of the news reports before Band Aid sang their song in the winter of 1985. Truthfully, considering I was 16 at the time, I was much more interested in and aware of the famine due to the fact that Bono and Sting and the members of Duran Duran were making a big deal about it and encouraging us all to "Feed the world... Let them know it's Christmastime." After that I remember tuning in a bit more to the news reports about the famine and being so moved by the tragic images we all saw.
I had no idea my destiny was intertwined with that country.
Thanks to Gladney, and thanks to Lilah Abeba's father, I know a few bits and pieces of her story. I know that her mother was 33 when she died in 2007. That means that she was born in 1974. She was a little girl when this horrible famine gripped her country- a little girl around the same age as my oldest son is now. What was her life like? How did she survive? Was hers one of the faces we all saw on television- crying, wasting away?
I know that her dad is around 55 which means he was born around 1954. He would have been in his late 20's, early 30's during the famine. He was married to his first wife during that time. Did he have to watch any of his children die? I do know that his oldest child- a girl- was born in 1985. Imagine. Just imagine...
The lyric, "Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you" takes on a whole new meaning when I think of my daughter's parents enduring all that struggle while my greatest struggle was how to perfectly french cuff my jeans and how to get my hair ever bigger. Just unreal.
25 years ago. Thanks Bob Geldof. Maybe somehow God allowed you to help plant a seed in my heart that will very soon come to fruition.