Almost 8 years ago, this woman, Ibu Robin Lim, CNN Hero of the year, delivered our Jazz in a bathtub in Bali filled with frangipani flowers. If you take a look at this video she’s walking through the construction site of her new Yayasan Bumi Sehat clinic, where any woman can go for prenatal care and to safely deliver her baby. For free. Robin, who goes to the poorest, war-torn countries to help women safely give birth, is known as the Mother Teresa of babies. I will be visiting her and the half-done new clinic when I go to Bali. And I will be asking her in the next few days what supplies I can bring from here. I, Elizabeth Gilbert and many others have helped support Robin’s work and they welcome donations to finish the clinic. Please let me know if you’d like to help. With eternal gratitude for our Ibu (‘mother’ in Balinese) Robin Lim.
Seven years ago on April 6 at 1:14 PM, our exquisite Jazz (Jasmine Rue Seelig Sugerman) was born in a bathtub in Bali, delivered into the hands of magnificent Robin Lim, midwife to the babies of the world, one year later the CNN Hero of the Year. (Please see Yayasan Bumi Sehat.) I was honored to be in that bathroom when Jazz was born as Ibu Robin told my son, Evan, to speak to her so his voice would be the first she ever heard. Marcelle, her mama, was luminous with love for her baby. Marcelle’s mother, Miriam Seelig, was chanting Hebrew prayers. Candles were burning. The bathtub was filled with frangipani flowers. Through my tears, I saw the ghosts of my ancestors, lost in the Holocaust, gathered in the corner of the room, welcoming this new life with such great joy. I was lucky to be the third person to hold Jazz, as she still reminds me. Being a part of such a miracle is still, today, the most memorable moment of my life. In the coming days, Jazz was blessed with ceremonies and graced us with her beatific smile. Today, seven years later, she continues to grace us with her beauty, great love, kindness and hilarious laughter. I love you, Jazz, more than I can ever say. I’ve loved you every moment of your life. And today I wish you the happiest of birthdays — all the way across the 8,000 miles that divide us (physically) while I am always with you, as you are always with me.