As the mother of two young boys, I can say without hesitation that I’d give my life to save theirs.
I can’t claim bragging rights for this pledge, though it is clearly brave and selfless. Parents, whether human or in the animal kingdom, are wired to protect their young. Across cultures and creeds, races and generations, our youth, their innocence and untapped potential, has more value than our own. The love, hope, and sense of duty parents feel for their children is why we have life and why the cycle continues.
We see our children suffer and want to kiss away their tears. We long to right them and pray, If only I could take their pain. Conscious thought is not required, our instinct for survival dissolves. Suddenly, the greatest sacrifice becomes the easiest decision.
Do you know of a parent who has given her life for one of her children? Sarah Chebet of Lenana Girls’ High School in Kitale, Kenya has a new heart to sustain her and a story to tell.
“I was given the heart of my father and he died. Nobody believed that he would do such a thing for one child when [my parents] already had four. But he chose to save my life…out of love.”
Here is her full essay, which earned Second Place in Lenana’s Fifth Annual Writing Competition hosted by Lift the Lid: