Finding Joy

I found Joy over the weekend. The best part about her is her story.
I thought I would share ‘my’ Joy with you.
Joy is a 40 something mother of three. She is resilient and beautiful.

She is Joy 🙂
Twelve years ago her husband and then sole bread winner got a stroke that left his paralysed. Everything changed instantly.
While she had to nurse him and cater to his every need, (and I mean every need) she also had young children to raise. The couple’s savings quickly ran out as you can imagine.
Most members of the family became scarce, barely checking in or providing any support. I suppose they were too busy worrying about their own problems. Joy knocked at a few doors and then stood still.
Fast forward to today. Her eldest son is yet to join University and the two daughters are in Secondary school. She has managed by doing odd jobs from being a porter, working as a supermarket attendant to selling second hand clothes.
The ‘bigger’ bills have been taken care of by good Samaritans. Speaking of, the gentleman who was paying her son’s school fees recently had to relocate to Europe. He is quite mature and as such may not easily find work let alone continue supporting them.
I met Joy a few months ago and this was her  biggest worry. How in the world was she going to pay tuition for her son, Mark?

The Lord will provide

Her, my mum and I were actually together when she raised the issue. Her son was keen on studying law. The UACE results weren’t out yet but she was secretly hoping his grades weren’t good enough for the (more) expensive law degree. At least if he did something like Business Administration (his second choice). She didn’t know where the funds for that would come from either but it was a shorter, more manageable course.
Well, it turns out BBA was not in the cards for this young man. The results finally came out and he had done well, not the top grade but well enough.

Still, there was the issue of Pre-entry examinations.
Joy comforted Mark in advance. She let him know even if he failed, it would not be the end of the world.

He listened and kept his eye on the prize.

81% of the students who sat for this pre-entry exam failed. Mark was not one of them.
The joy! The fear of being inadequately prepared!

Let your will be done Lord

The list of students on Government sponsorship was released soon after. Mark’s name shone bright on this list.
Would Joy’s husband stick it out with her if tables were turned? I have no idea. Would I be as strong as her in those shoes? Would you be?
I don’t have the answers but I am glad I found Joy.
You can’t tell by looking at her that her heart has patches and her soul is bleeding. This makes her an even more magnificent sight.
Have you found ‘your’ Joy?

 

joy image

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Listen

I do not know what you are going through right now. Quite frankly, no one does except you.

I know this because no matter how much of yourself you actually share, only you can truly feel some things, if you get my drift.

If I had never been rushed to hospital in the middle of the night, in an ambulance, I would not know what it feels like to stare death in the face.

If I had not been raised by parents who opened their doors to everyone, giving would probably be a chore.

Had I not dreamt a dream bigger than me, I may never have had the opportunity to witness the beautiful souls of human beings Vs the extremely callous.

See, a big part of who we become is a result of our experiences. It is simply sad that for many of us, our sad past means ‘punishing’ the world when we ‘make it.’ Moreover, we often reward good with evil.

Like many years before it, I started 2015 with great hopes of a better everything. It started out rougher than I anticipated which made me rethink all my mantras.

When I wasn’t lost in my own little world, I was out there pretending everything was okay. Sometimes, I did both-half day locked up, the other half smiling with the world.

Do you ever have those days when you tell your loved ones just enough for then to feel like you have let them in while still holding on to the details that matter? Do you find yourself more worried about worrying them than about that which keeps you awake at night? Well, it all occurred and then some.

Time did not wait. Life continued.

A couple of days ago, on a dimly lit road, something happened. Right in the middle of nowhere as my ‘chauffeur’ glued her eyes to the front and I sang along to Jennifer Lopez’s waiting for tonight. I felt an inexplicable joy in my heart. Everything was still for a split second and I thought to myself, “I am alright. I am okay.” It was at this point that I started reflecting on the past few months and realising how far we had come. Yes, we. My soul and I.

I thought to myself, perhaps sharing this tale with someone will give them renewed hope, so here I am.

Truth is, not very much has changed but it is also not very easy to achieve complete nirvana.

Something will always come up whether it is trivial like why the sales girl is always dressed better than you yet she earns a quarter of your salary or serious like sitting through your mum’s chemotherapy session wondering how much longer she will be with you.

I have categorised the things that trouble me as follows;

-Things I cannot change

-Things I can try to change, keeping in mind other people are involved (hence it isn’t 100% up to me)

-Things I can change

In this regard, I actively play my part and acknowledge that things may or may not work.

I know it is difficult to keep hope alive when everything around you is telling you the exact opposite, do it anyway. While at it, allow yourself to fall, breakdown, yell,cry, and roll in the mud. That dramatic stuff can scare your troubles away :P. I kid. Bottom line, after all that, stiffen that upper lip and show life what you are made of. Musical interlude: *I am tiiiiitttttaaaaannnnniiiiuuuummmm! *

So, what I really wanted to say is; Listen.

LISTENNNN

Whether you are in an unhappy relationship or unemployed, lacking in motivation or balance; sick physically and/or emotionally. Listen.

The voice of reason will find you if you let it.

That whisper saying “Stop the self-pity and take a few risks” shall be heard. Heck, it may even come to you on the dance floor!

Allow yourself to listen. Allow yourself to breathe.

Live!