Being challenged in life is inevitable. But being defeated is optional.
The other night, my mom and I were watching our nightly telenovelas and we jumped into the topic about her being incapacitated. We really never talk much about her deteriorating inability to ambulate. Except that night. She talked about the days when she could walk without difficulty and the sudden deterioration in walking, her feeling useless and being a burden, her self-pity, and my father who had passed away almost 24 years ago. And she shed some tears. And was fighting back mine.
She turns 81 this year. And I can completely understand her situation because of her condition. I could only comfort her and told her a story.
I chanced upon the story of a young boy who had a whole life ahead. At 17, while on a vacation with friends in Portugal, he met an accident. It would change his world. His life, and that of his family & friends, would never be the same again. The terrible accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. His youth and his future had been taken away from him that fateful day.
In spite of his condition, this young man fought his daily battles. He gathered strength from believing in daily miracles. Not in regaining his strength and motor faculties from his disability, but in harnessing whatever faculties he had left from his disability.
Almost a decade later, this former rugby player displays one of the most incredible dispositions in life. In spite of his paraplegia, he now paints with his mouth with a special stylus and easel and engages in public speaking.
In his Tweeter feed on Aug 3, 2015, he says, “we’re all too busy wishing something was different in our lives to realise that most of what we have is good; great actually”.
And as he rebuilt his life, there were trolls who continued to put him down. Until J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to praise this young man’s resilience.
In 2017, he published an inspirational memoir entitled “The Little Big Things” with a foreword from Rowling.
His name is Henry Fraser.
Whether you’re 8 or 80, life will never be fair all the time. It’s how we make out of what we have that matters.
I told my mom that she has all her faculties intact and that her ambulatory challenges should never serve as a hindrance to her. Our stories never end at an age. Her disability is just a setback. Not a death sentence. Even at 80, she should make the best out of everyday because everyday can be a good day.
Everything happens for a reason. That reason causes change. Sometimes it hurts, but in the end, it’s all the best.
And as long as I still can, I will see her through every day as a good day.