Life Lessons - An Inspirational Story
By Fatimah Musa
Ju was physically abused as a child. She lived with a mother who was diagnosed with post depression and a father who was a wife abuser. Her parents divorced and left six of them with her mother. She left school at 15 and went to work waiting tables to help her mother feed them all.
At 18 she met and fell in love and was married soon after. Then she found out that her husband drank too much, slept around with other women, was a wife abuser and took drugs. She was divorced at age 20 with two children. Her husband took their son away and handed him to his friend. He was sent to jail for an offence with the law.
Her husband's friend did not want to hand the boy over to her and demanded money in exchange. The child had scars on his chest due to burns from cigarette butts. That was what he got for crying out for food. She finally managed to get her son back. She left her children in her mother's care while she left to find a job.
At 28 she had an accident. Her dress caught fire and she suffered 2nd degree burns. With that her self-esteem and self-confidence went down the pit. She was depressed. She attempted suicide several times and was given psychiatric treatments. After a major surgery and lots of counseling and support from relatives and friends, she started her life all over again even with one partly deformed hand and fingers.
Her anxiety was all the time still present. It was tougher to find a job. She felt like a disabled person. The one thing that kept her going in spite of her misfortune was her will to be able to feed herself and sent money for her children. She did not want to ask for financial support.
At 38 she was diagnosed with cancer of the cervix. That was a big blow to her. She went through another depression episode. "Why me?" was the question she repeatedly asked. Of course when she asked that question, she got all the wrong answers. She felt more depressed. She blamed her father, her mother and everyone for what brought her sufferings. Worst, she blamed herself.
She agreed to go for the treatments, chemotherapy and cesium, because she did not want to go through the pains. This was when she took the time to look within her. She thought that she might not live long enough so she decided to reconnect with her children. It was not easy especially with her son who had gone through his own childhood trauma.
She turned to her family for moral support and she turned to God. Now eight years later, she is still alive. Waking up and able to breathe for another day is a gift for her. She has two grandchildren whom she adores and that give her much joy. She takes some jobs every now and then when her health permits and rests when she needs it.
Her question has changed. She now asks, what is it she could do to get more out of what is left? Things happen and happen to us all. Life does not play favorites. Everyone has a story to tell. It is how we handle it that matters. We do not have to wait until a major catastrophe interrupts us to think of what we should do with our lives.
It is up to us to make or break us. No one can tell our brain and mind what to do. No one can tell us what to think of and what to put inside our head. We have the power to think what we want to think. To forget past hurts or to linger with them.
We can decide, plan and take action on what we want to have, do or be. At least when the universe intervenes, we know that we have done our best.