A is for Appreciation
Appreciation for the many little things we often take for granted...like having food to put in our tummy before hitting the bed, Sleeping undisturbed through the night, waking up 'peacefully' when we feel like, stretching our limbs and having them oblige gracefully, walking, talking, breathing unaided, having food in the fridge, money in the purse, additional money in the bank, a job to go to, hobby to enjoy, a family to love, friends, shelter over your head, means to access good healthcare, etc. Those are just a tiny fraction of the daily blessings we enjoy.
Been off the radar for weeks because I had been battling what was diagnosed as malaria. Was on my second visit to the clinic last week and there I was sitting grumpily, glaring (with daggers in my eyes) at the workers in the Hmo (Health Maintenance Organization)office for taking forever to get whatever information or approval they needed to enable me start my treatment.
I just wanted them to get on with it as fast as they could so I could get the prescribed drugs and 'gerrout' of the place fast.
Meanwhile, my back was actively competing with my head for who would make my life miserable more. Neither was showing signs of letting up and I just felt like screaming at them to stop and get lost but didn't cos I'm not given to dramatics and that wouldn't really serve any other purpose than to make those white clad (wo)men reexamine the authenticity of their initial diagnosis and prescription.
Then I saw this person in the form of a middle aged woman cradling a bundle in her arms coming to take a seat beside me. Yours truly was in no mood to socialize and I just turned my face away from her to continue glaring angrily at the workers hoping they would take the cue.
Now I had bumped into this woman in about two other sections of the hospital; What struck me about her earlier at the other sections I had seen her was that she appeared to be well known, popular at the hospital. She had a word or smile for everyone, well almost everyone and she also came across as being 'over-cheerful' or trying super hard to be over-cheerful, singing even.
Now who sings in an hospital? So annoying to my aching head and limbs.
And she started singing again, occasionally breaking off to coo to her bundle who apparently was the patient battling cough and cattarh . The singing was grating on my nerves but could hardly tell her to stop as I wasn't the only patient there.
And then another woman, apparently an acquaintance came to sit with her and they started bantering. You know how it is when two willing women meets- Gist flows naturally.
First thing I picked from the ensuing conversation was the story featured in the Dailies of a new mother who lost her newborn triplets because the family could not afford ante-natal care for her; she had home - birth (minus the warm tub, soft background music and Doala or midwife directing the process), she subsequently had to be rushed to the hospital due to complications and then they were unable to afford a sum of money less than $50 for the new babies' treatment. The three poor kids eventually returned to be with the heavenly Angels.
How awful can life get.
Then back to how the seemingly over-cheerful woman was coping with caring for her bundle and she launched into a long repertoire of how wonderful it had been so much that I just Couldn't help sneaking a look at the beautiful Subject warmly wrapped up, snuggling peacefully against her Mother's chest.
And my heart melted in my chest, literally.
My head+backache took a flight sharp sharp in the face of a bigger heartache this woman must have been enduring. Did I mention she was also a working mum? Yeah, she was, at least from the way she was dressed; like she just dashed straight from work to the hospital.
Every woman looks forward to bringing forth, caring for and nurturing beautiful, perfectly formed and healthy babies right from the first time we get that positive test result or right from the first time we behold that double strip on the test stick.
Wouldn't 'disrespect' this beautiful bundle by describing what I saw. I just started praying silently, thanking God for my malaria while also asking for strength + grace for the mother and healing + the best quality of life possible for the baby.
Even now, I can't stop thinking about them knowing the kind of almost non-existent support structure we have in this part of the world.
Moral of the story:
Do not take the seemingly inconsequential blessings you enjoy for granted;
Do not think of your temporary inconvenience or situation or condition as the biggest problem in the universe, others are coping with worse;
Do not judge other people without taking a walk their shoes, first; you never know what battles they are fighting.
Always be thankful for what you have and remember those not so privileged.