By Fr. Joe Maier
She didn’t have a home. Did once, but bolted when she was eleven, to save her own life. Ran like she’d never ran before. Hid under a wrecked car. Predator men are feral and dangerous to 11 year olds. And her own drug mum had allowed this predator into their shack. He had the drugs and money and hiv-aids. And he soon destroyed mum. She abandoned her eleven year old daughter: made her an orphan.
She grew up a slum street girl – tough and without a mum. Slept nightly on two chairs next to the old boxing ring under the expressway. There was a guard – old man - usually asleep, but never the less, still a guard, and she was safe. Her nick name was “Boxing Girl.” A nickname much too common for her beauty. She grew up. Gave birth to a son.
That’s where our Christmas story begins.
The birth of her son? The Benevolent society rushed pregnant boxing girl – arriving last minute to the emergency room. Side door, no papers, tired doctor, but her baby was healthy and Miss Boxing Lady would survive another day. Her biggest worry was that whether she had her own milk to feed her baby, because she had no money. But milk she did have. And that’s all that counts, isn’t it. And that baby, changed her life. Everyone called him ‘ boxing boy.’ And like her own mum before her, there had been feral predators, leaving her with the drugs and T.B. & Aids.
But she covered her hand in her own blood mixed with the birth blood, vowing she would become the true boxing lady: the best mum on the planet. She would get well from the T.B. She would stop the drugs – she would take the Aids medicine and stay healthy as long as she could. And her beauty returned. The ravages disappeared. She is 33 years of age.
My oh my, how she loves that baby, Mr. Boxing Boy. . Raising him there next to that old boxing ring. She still has no money, but fed her son with her own milk and he grew strong and somehow, there’s always food to eat.
And her, Mr. Boxing Boy, now he’s three yeas old, spunky and about the size of a pocket mouse. He thinks he wants to be a boxer – to grow up and protect his mum. Mum Boxing Lady. She always tells how her own mum left her for a monster feral predator man. And she had made that unbelievable vow – in her own blood and her birth blood she would give her life she would give her life a 1,000 times for her child. Nothing, not even death could stop her.
So you might say this is Christmas, and Fr. Joe, why the sad story. It’s really not sad, she loves her son – more than anything else. So I ask you to love your children. Love your family.
Oh and I forgot to tell you, his name is Oohm... it means a beautiful prayer where everything becomes beautiful again – like after a storm. Like where the Angels sang when Baby Jesus was born. So on this Christmas, as I celebrate 50 years as a priest, and my whole priestly life here in the Klong Toey Slums, all of us are family.