I am strong because I am weak

I am not as strong as you think. Sometimes I hold pity parties, other times I question my capabilities. I ask myself have I rushed through my career and my options? How come I am taking a longer break from my career? There is also another break in relationships… What I am waiting for?

I always look out for signs. My mantra in life; ‘If something or someone is waiting for me, they still be there at the train station waiting for me.’ It is tried and tested theory. What is meant for me, works out faster. If something drags, contracts delay or that feeling at the back of my mind not to go forth… I wait it out.

What have I learned?

I have learned not to push. Or pull in my direction opportunities that are not mine. It creates an imbalance in the universe and a price must be paid. I have seen things that I should not have seen. These things have messed me up or in most changed my attitude towards life. I have come across information that I was not meant to read. On my wall, there’s a sticker that says; ‘I don’t know why I know the things I Know.’ This reminds me to be more aware of the present. The things in my way daily and be more in tune with my intuition.

This has given me strength even when there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. I just want to wallo in my misery. The longer I stay in this state, the more I heal. The more I am aware of which conflicts are in my life and their solutions.

Advertisements

Most honest I have ever been

I am like the beginning of ‘Bessie’ the movie. Watching people cheer you up when you are dying deep inside. All along you are dealing with the past and present. Which one is gonna win tonight? Where you? Where is my mama? And what has brought this on?

1. My mother is gone.

2. I need to answer a very important question that will help me move on.

3. I am on a pause.

If you have not read my previous blogs, I will fill you in. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and she died 2 weeks ago. Her death has stirred up a lot of sentiments that I thought had gone.

I have been thinking, did I love her enough? I don’t want to put the crude word ‘hate.’ Did I hate her? No. But we were not in sic. She wanted me to be a better person. I wanted to be me. She wanted me to emulate her but it was hard. Why? I was raised independent and self taught. She was not there. Both my parents were not there and when they appeared they gave me a lot of instructions of how to take care of my siblings. Most of my childhood memories are about bathing, feeding and taking my younger siblings to school.

I learned to be on my own way back. I went into survival mode. Like most children, it was never my parents’ fault. They had to provide for us. I have to give them that. It was a good thing but it messes up your biology. You can’t mother people when you are young and expect to be grown up later.

Back to my loving my mother… I have blamed her for a lot of things. We used to argue almost every time we were in proximity of one another. My sister didn’t. I never agreed to most of the things she told me to do because I had a voice that I had developed for decades. Do those arguments matter anymore now that she is gone? I don’t know.

I am still analysing the impact of her death on me. I am still reminded that I had unfinished business with her. Whenever I started to tell her how I feel, she would shut me up to give me advice. She really wanted me to follow her orders. Not good at that.

Some people used to say we are the same person. She was more stubborn and ‘living single’ even when she was married. I could talk about her all year long but I guess her death has not sunk in. I hope it does slowly. I can’t even wear the clothes I used to put on in the hospital. They remind me of her pain. People have been asking when I am going to work but I don’t know. I am hurt. I need healing. So, this is my SOS. Some body save me.

Prepare yourself, She is going

Perhaps, this will be the hardest article I will ever write but I have to let it out. By putting my thoughts here something will trigger the emotions that will prepare me for her final hour.

The first doctor called us in the meeting last week. He called it the ‘way forward’ as the patient was not getting better. The conversation was not the easiest I have heard.

Dr.K: As you know, your mother has been through the first cycle of chemotherapy. That cycle alone is not enough to kill the cancerous cells. She needed 6 cycles and now that her cancer has spread throughout the whole body, you need to plan for the next course of action.

Us: (By Us I mean; my father, my siblings and aunts) Oh.

Dr.K: By the time, you brought her to this hospital, the cancer was already at stage 4. She is now a high grade patient. That means we cannot treat the cancer anymore. She will be receiving palliative care from now on. Any questions?

Us:(Puzzled looks all around. Whom among us was willing to say the next words)

Dr.K:(Looks at one by one waiting to see the reaction) We have tried everything we can as doctors and the rest is up to GOD.

Me: How much time is left before she goes?

Dr.K: Will it make any difference if you knew the answer? We are all at the mercy of God. Anytime we could be gone. Just imagine today morning, someone out there was walking on the streets and was killed by a reckless driver. They were in perfect condition and just like that, they are no more. Life is unpredictable.

Me: Doctor? You see in developed countries, they let you know how long you are left with so that you prepare.

The meeting continues for another hour with out knowing when the torture will stop. Wait until she kicks the bucket.

Again this morning, the doctor on duty calls on our patient. How is she? How was her night? Any pain, throwing up? Checks the eyes, pull out your tongue and meticulously touches her swollen legs which have clots. The doctor makes his observation in the book and he says can we meet in the office down the corridor. This is tenth meeting we have had with the medical personnels. We have met the cancer experts, gynaecologists, pathologist and counselors. It gets easier with every one of these ‘chats.’

Dr.N: Have you met the counselor. Have they told you about her condition?

Aunt: The doctors have told us she has high grade fibrosarcoma. It has spread throughout the body.

Dr.N: It is good that you are aware of what is happening. We can’t cure her cancer. That is why right now we are concentrating on reducing her pain. She is very weak and her health will continue detorioting but since she is here, Utmost support will be given to ensure the pain is reduced.

Me: Doctor? When you tell us to prepare for the worst, what does that mean? What does the preparation entail?

Dr.N: The preparation needs you to be ready. Prepare the mind so that you are not shocked when she passes on. We always assume our loved ones will always be here. The shock sometimes leaves people paralysed, dead or mentally unstable.

Me: What is her life span right now? How long before…?

Dr.N: I am a medical doctor and you can never tell when the maker will take us. We can die in the next 6months, a year or in 50 years. Death is death.

I go back to the room and I go into my mind. It’s always safer in there. I think of things that can make me ready for her death. I have watched her pain for the last 6months. If I was in her position, how much pain would I handle? Would I too mumble in my sleep that; ‘Its too much’ Please forgive me! What did I do to deserve this pain?’

My preparation includes;

1. Making short videos of her while she sleeps or when she manages to say any word.

2. Sharing with my friends the news. It eases the pain inside. A problem shared philosophy.

3. Preparing her home by ensuring the flowers and fence are trimmed. The grass is cut and house is spotless.

4. Calling all her friends and sisters to let them know that they should visit pronto.

5. Getting men of God to help in the transition. Prayers and more prayers.

Speaking of men of God, yesterday I met a female pastor who was praying for mother and she asked me not to leave her side for the next 2 days. I needed to go home and shower but now I will be here waiting for a sign or reason why she asked me to be the one at her side. This story continues with this creepy phone call.

Ring Ring

Aunt Christine: Hello. I can’t come over this week. You know I had a dream where I ran out of the hospital ward because your mother was getting worse. I told you to stay seated by her side because I was not strong enough to stay. I am now too scared to meet her.

The journey is never Rushed

It is not easy getting up after your fall and you Start singing how this time you want it all. The journey is never rushed. You have to let go and allow the course to go on without your input. No one asked for it in the first place.

Have you ever seen ocean waves? However much you want to step in and control their movement, it is never up to you. Everything has it is own time. It is only a matter of being patient and wait it out. The universe gives you time for reconciliation, time to forgive the ones who have wronged you and enough hours to say I am sorry over and over.

I am just thinking how we have always been told that; ‘Everything starts with you.’ We are told right from an early age how we own the power to control the course of our lives. Whatever you think about, will materialize. Do we imagine diseases and poverty and welcome it in our lives? I am yet to meet that person who has intentionally let this flow into their lives.

I have always wanted to know if there was a way we could find out our poison. From a person or any source and they have a list of the poison. That list that highlights which struggle you could handle. Then I remember that verse in the Bible that reads; ‘The will of God can never take you where the grace of God can not protect you.’

But a burden is one every one must carry. I have seen children carrying ‘loads’ that I would never carry. Just imagine children who are born orphans and at the same time carry the HIV. How do they get the will to move on each day? I once met a 16 year-old who was born with the virus and later diagnosed with cancer. She was very chatty and full of life. Maybe such people pass through our lives to remind us how life could have been worse. I have learnt resilience from them. How can I complain about new shoes when another person doesn’t have legs.

My suggestion for 2018; I wish there was a paper showed to everybody indicating all the struggles in life. All you have to do is mark which struggle or pain would best suit your needs. My list has this but you can add on the list;

Poverty

Illness

Loss of a loved one

Loss of everything you valued

Loneliness

Unemployed

Suffer invisibility

Disability

Loss of senses

Someone once asked me a question: would you love to know everything in your future or would you prefer to be surprised? My answer is a given.

We are always prepared for the worst

I have found a perfect song to match this article. Try reading this entry while playing Sam Smith’s song ‘Too good at goodbye’ and you will realize how all this makes more sense. That part where he says; ‘I know you thinking I am heartless,
I know you are thinking I am cold,
I am just protecting my innocence…’

It is more than year now since I started blogging. I had written so many articles before and all of them were kept safely where they don’t belong. In my computer in that folder named blog articles. I was constantly waiting for a sign to self-publish. I published some articles in the newspapers. But all these had one thing in common. They were safe topics. Something you could easily tell anybody and you would not get in trouble. Then one day, I decided to write an article about the harassment I faced as a foreigner in India. I emailed it to my lecturer in hope that he would help me publish it as a letter to the editor. I followed it up to see what he thought of it. He took a month to reply and when he did, he offered this advice. ‘My dear, find topics that are not controversy and would not bring shame to you or the university. There are so many topics about food, travelling, learning and your environment that you can choose to write about. You don’t want to bring trouble to you as a foreigner.’
I was really pissed at him for failing to acknowledge what he already knew was happening to most girls. Female Students were stalked, tops ripped, unwanted stares was something normal for locals who also did not understand the issue of privacy that they would film or take a picture of you during your private moments. These locals were peeping through key holes and the cases of harassment needed to be brought to the fore front. You see, I was not the only girl who feared for her life in a country where rape or sexual harassment is rampant. The only caution from police was that; the girls should never move out beyond 6pm. And if we did, we needed the company of 2-more strong males. It was ridiculous but it was lifesaving.
In one of the incidents I remember so well, my friend H and I used to enjoy those evening walks. The weather was continually so warm allowing you to walk for hours and that is what we did. We walked beyond 6.30pm. And as the sun was setting, we headed back towards our accommodation but little did we know that some boys on bikes had been following us. By the time we realized what was happening, the 2 bikes with these 4 boys were circling us and they were shouting in the local dialect. We knew right away what was going to happen to us if we did not act quickly. We started running home while making calls to our male friends directing them to where we were. We managed to escape but that fear was instilled in us. We never walked beyond that time. But that did not stop us from enjoying coffee and snacks at our neighbor by tea shop. Every girl who has ever been in Asia has a story or 2 about sexual harassment or any other form of harassment. The funny thing about such incidents is; the boys were mainly teenagers and kept wondering, did the mothers of these boys know what they were up to or they simply thought their young men were out for coffee? None of them looked underprivileged. They looked pampered and spoilt. The less privileged would never even come close to any female because society had already showed them where they belong. Under everyone’s feet. They assumed they were no body so they remained invisible. I promise one day when I have the courage, I will tell you what happened to me on one of my train rides in 2016. Such a sad day for me.
Speaking of saddest. I need to let you know that it is okay to be hurt. It is ok to allow sadness to take over once or twice in a life time. The worse times always prepares us for the worst. Right now my mother in hospital fighting stage 4 fibro cancer but I am strong. It does not mean I do not care about her. It means the world has prepared me for this moment. How? I need to take you back. Around this time, last year, I was in one of those countries that is advertised so much as; ‘You must visit before you die’. It is glamorous, expensive and has a million visitors every month. People are actually dying to go there. How do I know that? I wanted too, so much that I managed to get there. The first few days were great because I got to experience what that country is selling to tourists. The rest of the days before I left were the worst days of my life. I could not even sleep, eat well or enjoy the country because I was suffering silently with the fact that this was not where I was supposed to be. I failed to relate to the people or their laws. The environment did not help either but I tried to keep a positive attitude. My worse time in that country prepared me for what I am going through right now. What I know for sure is everything changes. Nothing is ever the same and I need to learn to adapt to situations so that I am not overwhelmed by all things to come. No one has it easy but you have to play your role in this world as a pro. There is no need of letting everyone know how hard it is. As a toddler, all you see is love and beauty in this world. That magic is still there. Just use the right glasses and have people who dream the dream in a dreamy way.

Wrong Place to Fall in Love

Olivia Pope: I don’t want normal, and easy, and simple. I want..
Edison: What? What do you want, Olivia?
Olivia Pope: I want painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.

This would make sense if I asked you a question. Is there any location in the world that is wrong to fall in love in?

There are so many places that are good to fall in love in; that is according to society. Like the church, meetings, offices, gardens, online, restaurants(who would not want to meet a partner who actually enjoy his meals. The list is endless. But what the wrong places on the list? I have heard people swear that they would never take partners from any bar. Yet others have fallen in love in bars. It’s called loveliquor intoxication. How wonderful!! Falling in love and getting high.

So, Why I am asking about the wrong places to even crush on any individual? Simple.

I have been taking care of someone close to me at this hospital for 3 weeks now and somehow, somewhere I am crushing on someone. Someone who is actually ensuring that the patients are healing. He was the first person I noticed when I came to this ward. Now I am trying to remember what caught my attention. He has a nice smile. But that was not it. It was not even his body structure because I think he has a limp. Maybe its due to the fact that he is always on his feet that might explain the drag on his lower limbs. I actually don’t know why I noticed him among all the males in the ward. He had me at hello.

Since I spend nights at the hospital, he is always bumping into me. His hello is close and personal. Handshake, fist bump, a rub on the shoulder or a friendly tap on my hands. I had to know his deal. I asked about him. I had too, let the judgments star.

‘He is complicated and doesn’t keep time.’

‘Hand worker’

So what has happened in the last weeks? No flirting. Never never flirt with your crush. It’s bound to set off all alarms because you end up having a quick on the doctor’s table. That is gross. Do you know how many germs are waiting for a great host? I imagine the starving germs waiting to feast first on your ass and back. His gown and hands should not even touch you. Doctors are only sexy in Grey’s anatomy or private practice. They are good to see in their gowns and rimmed eye glasses.

What to do? I started teasing him on a daily basis and later found out from the nurses that he is married to a big woman who makes an appearance as often as the rain in the amazon. She ensures they get home together and his eyes don’t see any other females. Near him or his car.

I had almost forgotten to tell you something. He has seen my mother’s v-j. He checked it while I was around and that was it. The crush went out of the hospital room. How dare him? What are we supposed to discuss on our first date? I know my mother needed to show him where it hurts and as a doctor it was professional of him to check and assure the patient it was ok. How can we move on from that metal image?

Then I remembered something. It’s only females who dwell on such. They connect emotions to an action which in most cases works against them. He probably doesn’t remember the scene. Males are like that. While we get stuck in that moment in time, it’s long gone from his medulla oblongata. So my dear crush, let me see what feelings I have left for you before you sign her discharge form. Can’t wait for hello tomorrow dear Doctor.

How many people do we owe our lives?

As I write this article, I am looking at this little angel with moist lips who keeps singing ‘I love you’ to the newly born brother. The song goes; ‘I love you every day… every day….I love you.’

She even reminds the mother that is grateful for the new bundle of joy.

Angel: Mummy Thank you so much. I am so so happy.

Mummy: Why is that?

Angel: I am so happy that you have a good baby. My brother is the best.

Her measure of good baby is beyond us. The innocence that corrupts. So many times, I have wished I could go back to that. She has already labeled him good. Good Baby in this case. Usually, the world ensures we tick off a list to certify the goodness of someone. She has already seen and helped the baby on their first step of acknowledging that labels exist. From the zero age to the time you kick the bucket. By welcoming him into the new family and world, I owe her that fuzzy feeling in my heart.

Next on my list are the strangers who have shared their stories of heroism, struggle, and patience so that our lives could go on. Every person has a story of an individual they can relate too. Hearing that story being told over and over reminds them there is more to life. My stories revolve around empowerment, survival after divorce, domestic violence, near death experience and struggles with learning. When one woman chooses to go on and understands that it has never been easy, you have my respect and admiration.

In the stories, we remember that every person has been through losses and gains. Through the loss, we learn to treasure the little. Through the gain, we appreciate what we are left with.

Then, my list has people who have broken my heart. Both women and men. Perhaps women hurt deeply because they plan and know where to pour the salt and pepper. We assume they are one with us. They make sure you are safe. Safer than you have ever been. Then they break you piece by piece. Brick by brick because they know how you put that house up. We learn to let go from them. We learn to forgive slowly and maticulously. From them we understand that we can only love fully if we have been hurt by those we love the most. If you don’t get it, then it has not happened to you yet. Wait for your turn. I promise it will be magnificent.

I owe alot to people who connect with me. The ones i dont need to explain fully all the details. They just get it. I don’t need to go into the details.

So how many people do I owe my life? Many. very Many. I will not discuss the people who copulated to get me here. It was their choice. I am grateful for all my advisors, sisters, strangers who have helped me find my footing.