113. I WISH I WERE ‘U’
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
The following is something I felt inspired to write some years ago. Here’s to hoping that it blesses you, even as it has me.
A felt dejected. She was tired of not being able to afford the finest things in life. She made a decent salary and she had nice shoes but she wanted to be able to afford one of the big brand name shoes, a Louis Vuitton. She looked down woefully at the shoes she had purchased just last week and felt herself loathing them. These had not been her first choice but it was what her pocket could have afforded at the time. “Here I go again,” she muttered pitiably to herself, “The girl with the cheapest shoes at the party.”
“Do you think you have it bad?” she suddenly heard someone say. “Imagine you were me. I have had the same shoes for the past 20 years. They are old and torn and they have done their time. I walk the streets with my left big toe protruding and touching the bare ground. As much as I dream of having a functioning pair, I cannot afford it although I need one so badly. You do not know how good you have it. I am B and if only for a day, I wish I were you.”
Scarcely had he finished than out of the blue, a voice, clearly disgusted by what had transpired, said to B: “So what, you think you have it bad? Well I could tell you a thing or two. I am C and guess what, I wish that I were you. I wish that I had your shoes with a thousand holes. I’d wear them proudly as I journeyed through this life. But alas, I can’t and will never be able to do so. You think you have it bad? I’ve got no feet and I spend my days getting from one place to another in this dilapidated wheel chair. This world does not feel sorry for me. I am expected to roll across the street in the same time as the average person. No one cares that my hands are tired or that my spirit is weak. If you want to know what unfortunate is, take a long hard look at me.”
“I have heard enough!” said someone who identified himself as D. “So just because you have no feet, you think it is the end of the world? Well at least you can still thank God that you can get from one place to another in that contraption of yours. Not me sir! I have been paralyzed from the waist down for the past 20 years. I am what they call bedridden. I have my faculties about me yes but it is so shameful to be an adult and to have to be bathed and fed and read to, as if I were a baby. Do you have any idea what it is like to spend your entire life rooted to a bed? To not be able to enjoy the sunshine because you’re always indoors? To see your family members each day but not be able to sit around the dinner table with them? You could never know what it feels like to be me. I am living a hell on earth.”
“Hell on earth?’ E cried. “If only I were you! We have something in common yes because like you, I have been bedridden for several years. But do you know what? I envy you. And stop looking so alarmed as if it were so shocking that someone could wish that they were you! You can still see loved ones can’t you? They visit you regularly don’t you? You can still manage a hug and feel their embrace though trapped by your limbs, can’t you? Your mind is still able to process a bed time story and you are still able to enjoy a warm home-cooked meal can’t you? You think you have it bad? Ha! Imagine you were me for a moment. I have been in a coma for ten long years and the doctors do not know if I’ll ever come out. My reality is this dark space where I am somewhat conscious but yet I cannot seem to muster the strength to open my eyes or to respond to anyone. I am what they call a useless vegetable. I hear the voices of my loved ones, crying, praying, comforting. Oh why do they not pull the plug? Haven’t I caused enough pain and grief already? Oh how I wish I were you, and could open my eyes each day to see the family I have not seen in nearly a decade.
E had scarcely finished than a voice bellowed from beneath the earth, “Oh be silent! Yes you have it hard, no doubt. It is a difficult thing to be in a comatose state for an unknown period. But there is one thing you possess which I do not: You still get to live each day with hope, that as bad as things are today, tomorrow just may be better. You think you have it bad? Imagine you were me my friend. My name is F and I am dead.
(Written on 13th March, 2013)