Pure Madness

My thoughts on the "behind the scenes" of life. You will find inspiration here. Share it generously


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#PinkShujaas

What breaks your heart? What makes your eyes well up with tears? What makes you take that deep sigh of helplessness? For me, it’s knowing someone genuinely needs help but there is nothing I can do. This explains why I love superhero movies; normal human beings going about their day to day activities, often unpopular (unsung) and unsuccessful but that’s not all there is to them.

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Growing up, I learnt a habit that I have not been able to detach from 20 years on. When my mother passed on, I felt helpless and vulnerable. I had many questions. The one question that refused to go away was, “What could I have done to save her?” This question was persistent and intrusive. For the next many years I learnt to play in mind different scenarios of what I would do if I had super powers.

This is the same feeling I get every time I hear that someone is battling cancer. I feel helpless and it makes me wish I had some super powers that would somehow get rid of cancer forever! To say the truth, I wish I had superpowers to equip our hospitals with not just equipment but also the resources required to eradicate the hopelessness that comes with disease.

I wish I had superpowers to develop “a hope pill” that would make patients believe that a better day would come. That they would recover fully. I wish I had an injection that helped patients “catch up” with what they “missed out on” when they were unwell. I really wish I had superpowers. Sigh.

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This month, I celebrate men, women and children who in my mind and heart are the real the superheroes; cancer patients. My heart literally collapses when I think about the life a person, whether an adult or child, battling cancer. The emotions, the pain, the costs, the effect of the disease on family; how can anyone have the strength to go through all that and still have inner strength to believe in better days? These are truly superheroes living among us.

Have you ever stopped for a minute to put yourself in the shoes of a person who wakes up one morning ready to go about with their normal day only to find there is “something off” with their body? Imagine what they feel when they leave the hospital having been told they have cancer. Imagine how they feel when they have to break the news to their spouses, their children and their family.

What goes on in their minds when they realize they don’t have enough money for treatment? What goes on in their hearts when they have to deal with the possibility of not making it out alive? How do they feel when they have to access resources they had saved for their children? How do parents feel when they have to be taken care of by their children who in their eyes should be living out their own dreams? How do children feel when their parents use all their retirement savings to pay for the treatment?

There is so much that goes on in the lives of people who are or have battled cancer. We can never comprehend how they feel no matter how articulately someone shares their experience. Whether it’s a story of pain and uncertainty or its one of hope and survival, to many of us they remain just that, stories. To the people who go through these experiences, it’s a part of life that they will have to carry for the rest of their lives. The pain, the cost, fears, the hopes, the disappointments, the regrets, the lessons, the faith the doubts and the wishes; no amount of words will ever capture what that experience meant and still means to them.

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For the rest of us, even though we cannot fathom what it means to battle with cancer, we can support families that are. Definitely financial support would go a long way but support should not be limited to finances alone. Emotional and social support is as important as the finances. So this month take time to step out and support someone or a family that is battling with cancer. Your support, little as it may seem will go a long way.

To our #PinkShujaas we honor and celebrate you.

Edited by Wanjiku Kimaru

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2 Comments

You; The Bestseller

They are both on top of their worlds. She always seems to be the center of attention when she is with her girls and he, he is known to make friends so easily that he can chat up a statue. People often call them the life of the party and they don’t mind the attention. They are both known for their generosity. It’s part of who they are. They are confident and thrive in any environment whether in crowds or small groups. They are outgoing and social. They have an opinion but they always try to accommodate others and so they will always strive for a win-win.

Bestseller

I am not a fan of interviews. It’s an environment that is often full of tension and high anticipation. Everything in that room seems like a test. The glass of water in front of you, the pen and note book on the desk even normal regular greetings always sound different. I personally don’t appreciate the question “Tell us about yourself?” I know I have lived with myself for all those years but every time I am asked this question I always feel as if I don’t know myself or I am lying about who I am.

I keep getting worried about the many bestselling books about “me” that are out there. How do they know me and why am I not the author of these books if they are about me? They tell me about becoming a better me (who said I need upgrading). They are ready to tell me about the best activities for me, the best career, the best diet, the best exercise and even the best spouse. As if that’s not enough, these books will then crown it all by telling me I how unique I am, a special order and the only model ever released by my manufacturer.

I always enjoy seeing babies discover the mirror. Naturally, girls seem to have a liking to the mirror than boys. It’s not strange to find a girl attempting to apply makeup or having an intense conversation with her twin in the mirror. These “mirror-tendencies” continue to develop as she ages and more time is dedicated every day to refer to the person on the mirror. As they grow up they seem to learn how to spot their reflection anywhere, wood, stone, mud you name it and a lady will see her reflection on it and adjust whatever she deems appropriate. .

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What I don’t understand about us humans is that even after living with ourselves that long and even after knowing what our “selling points” are, we still listen and value what others say about us.  The Bible talks about a person who looks at themselves on the mirror only to walk away and forget what they saw. Our society is highly sensationalized on what other people think. Our spending habits are often influenced by fads and trends. We even have TV programmes that discuss how prominent people dressed.

In the end, we suffer from identity crisis due to the many messages that bombard us and dictate the kind of person we should be. The light skinned feel they are not light enough and the dark skinned feel they are not dark enough. The plus-size women are celebrated for certain features while the slender ones end up being anorexic in a bid to remain a certain size why? Your guess is as good as mine.

Men, both young and old alike are not spared either. The TDH (Tall Dark and Handsome) syndrome seems to haunt many of us. That’s not all, you need to have certain well-formed abs and muscles. Beyond the body you need to dress in a certain way, groom yourself in a certain way, hangout in certain “joints” and with certain people, drive certain cars, drink certain drinks, live in certain neighborhoods, come from certain communities, talk in a certain way and even date a certain type of woman.

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Is there a place for you and I outside these “certain criteria’ What would happen if you and I were comfortable being who we are as opposed to trying to fit in? How can we ever bring ourselves to stand up and fight for others if we don’t know how to stand up to fight for ourselves first? The fight to save the world must begin with fighting to redeem ourselves from the cells of criteria and opinion. If we can accept and celebrate our own diversities, preferences and opinions, then we will accept the differences we see in others.

We all desire our children to grow up to be “great people” who will do amazing things for their generation but even before they can conquer those battle fronts, they will need to conquer their own battles to remain true to themselves first. Are you fighting yourself or for yourself?

Edited by Wanjiku Kimaru