If there is one Christmas story I hate the most, it’s The Little Match Girl.
Most of the time, the little match girls (or boys) are the cats I saw on the street. They have nothing. They don’t have parents, they don’t have siblings, they don’t have home, family, friends. They do not have food.
They are cold, damp, wet. They are sick, they are hungry, and they are in pain. Pain because kids beaten them up with sticks, pain because people throw rocks, garbage, hot water, anything, at them. Pain because they have to fight for their lives, and even the winner did not win any food. Pain for the blood that runs freely one time or another, and stain their fur, Pain for the broken bone, pain one can see all over them.
What one cannot see, is the pain from loneliness, pain for being hated for no apparent reason. Pain for being denied life that is given to them, without they ever asked or choose.
This time, the little match girls are us.
Ex kitty mill tom with kidney failure, two ill mothers with their own set of kittens discarded in various ATMs, unwanted gift of one mother and three babies, kittens thrown away and have to bid for his own wee life under BBQ charcoal grill…
Even before I finished telling each of their stories, we took in one kitten dumped with her brother by a deep, rushing river, a miller wannabe who didn’t want to stand up for the challenge threw his supposed-to-be sire on the street.
Last but not least, a mother with intestinal infection, respiratory infection, and internal bleeding in her ear dragged herself for food to support her two kittens. Someone stole her two healthy, adorable kittens, left her rotting in the cold in the market by the garbage bag.
We lost the chap with kidney failure on Friday. The kitten with a broken leg died as we tried to save his life, early yesterday, and her sister, heartbroken and in pain herself, followed the next evening.
One by one, our match burned out, leaving ash, and dried sticks turned into cinders.
Who will buy the rest of our match, as our world sunk asunder? We have spent the last of our savings for cat food that will finish by Christmas, and none for ourselves.
But I stand here, out of the window, looking in. Family gathers, feast and squander. I stand here, by the cold shoulder of my society, so ignorant of others.
I stand here, lighting one more match. It’s a match none the less, it will be ash and cinder, regardless.
I stand here, lighting one more match. I stand here with my hand up high.
These lights, are the lives of those who has no one to hold their hope.These lights are the hope of those whose lifelines were stolen by ignorance and cruelty.
These lights are the love they offer even after all the pain.
These lights are their last chance.
And I will hold these lights with hand up high, for as long as I can.
I cannot change the girl’s story; but I can change theirs.
Are you standing with me?