Of Feet And Shoes And Hope And Despair
Over the past month or so I have had reason to be very sad about a few issues. Just when I thought things were going great, and I was finally getting my life in the groove, I was fired from my job for no just cause other than my boss felt insecure around me. I really did not mind being fired from that job but I really needed a job. I was afraid that I would be thrown back into the unemployment market indefinitely and that I would get to the point I had been for quite a while where I was unable to take care of even my basic needs and I depended on the charity of friends. And I did. At the same time I had to terminate my one month relationship because I finally realised that what he liked was my sparkling wallet not my bubbly personality. With my daughter's needs also crying for attention on one side it seemed I had come back to what I was most familiar and what would be practically permanent- lack. Lack of money, lack of work, lack, of faith, lack of confidence, lack of hope.I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet - Jewish Proverb
A few weeks or so ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine, complaining about my lot in life and how everything I tried seemed futile and he said he understood. Then he told me his story. Apparently his 7 year old son, in a childish attempt to get the wrapper of a loaf of bread open, stabbed himself in the eye with a knife. To cut a rather sad story short, despite the best medical attention in Europe, the boy has been declared blind- in that eye- for life. I was shocked to my bones.I called constantly to comfort him and listen. He lamented that if he was not abroad for work he would have helped his wife take care of their children and maybe the accident would never have happened. Maybe, maybe not. But the message was not lost on me. However, I have never been one to understand how or why I should be grateful that someone has it worse than me. So I continued worrying, and brooding until another incident.
A few days ago, a childhood friend of mine buzzed me on one of our numerous chat applications. I immediately felt guilty because I had promised to visit her in the hospital when her child was undergoing surgery but I had not because of this stupid job from which I was fired. I responded anyway and she asked how I was and how my daughter was. Then she said ' my daughter passed after the surgery'. And my blood ran cold. I called her immediately because I did not understand. It was meant to be corrective surgery, the child had been born with her organs protruding from her belly. They had said it was not a big deal to fix. She had lived till she was almost 5 years old so why now? Apparently there was an error and the incision had become infected, And the hospital had been careless. And the little girl had suffered. And she had died. I went to see my friend and I hugged her and we cried together, It still hurts even to write it down, to watch your child grow weak before your eyes and then non-responsive and then cold and dead. She blamed herself for not allowing the child live like that after all she had been doing well. Why did she take her for the surgery? And I thought of the one whose child had lost one eye and I knew she would rather have a child with one eye than none at all. And I thought of myself worrying about school fees and clothes and money and things. And I understood the message:
material things are immaterialWe are sometimes caught up in the frenzy of providing a perfect life that we do not even pause to appreciate the life we actually have. We work late nights, take jobs far away to take care of our family but end up never seeing that family for years. I would sometimes get caught up in doing chores that I would snap at my daughter when she wants me to maybe play with her or something. And you know what is funny? We all know this but we still act like we don't
You can never have the perfect lifeThere will be problems, there will be setbacks, there will be tragedies, there will be losses. And inbetween all that there will be joy and there will be laughter. But that is as good as it will ever get.
And that is the crux of the whole matter.
Life can be a bowl of sludge especially in these parts, with too many tragedies for one person. Then it can be a steady stream of pure sunshine in the next turn. It is immaterial what life gives you and/or what you are able to garner. It is just very important to live life.Eat, love, cry, laugh, dance, sing, mourn. Exhaust your emotional and creative. options. Just. Live. Life.