Burden? Cross??

 Children with disabilities are often seen as a burden even by their parents. Recently a parent said to me that his son is a burden to him. His child has Cerebral Palsy. I said to him that even though my daughter has Cerebral Palsy, I do not see her as a burden. We argued a bit on that and I let it go.

Friday, we got a visit from Nma  just before the Center closed. She has not been for a while, she showed her disappointment that Ziim does not seem to be improving in leaps and bounds compared to other children like Amina, Promise and Ayo. I made effort to explain to her the condition CP, within the limits of my little understanding; that each child is affected differently, depending on the severity, the apparent response to intervention varies. A number of “variables” do come into play; the cause, weather or not the child has seizures, and a lot more other things. With a big sigh and that “pity look”, she said that it must be a big burden for to take care of Ziim. I asked her if it is a burden for her to take care of her children. No, she responded. Then why should my taking care of  my child be a burden? Nonye you understand now. No I do not. In the spirit of the day’s feast, I told her that I choose to see Ziim’s condition as my cross and that is how I have taken it. (Friday was the feast of holy cross).

This brings me to the big question, how do you see my child for me? Burden? Cross? It is all a question of choice. Recently, a friend looked me in the face and said that Ziim remains unhealed because I lack faith, that if only I can but believe she will be healed!! She even tried to quote from the bible to support her fallacy. I let her run her mouth for it is her choice what she says with it. I know that the teaching of the cross is not a good business, sometimes not logical.  But for one who professes to be a christian, I take the teaching seriously for it is in doing so that I make meaning out of the things I go through in life.  If I fail to see Ziim as my cross in life or one of them, I will be frustrated and depressed. let me quickly say that I did not start off on this station, I arrived here after years of seeing her as a burden—–a source of great distress and frustration. It took me a while to understand the significance of Ziim as a cross in my life, as a sign that will lead me and hopefully some people to God. For when Christ urged us to pick up our crosses and follow Him, it is an invitation to learn the purpose of His life which is to deny one’s self and live in the interest of others.

Hard? Sure it is, very hard. But the beautiful thing is that the journey is never a lonely one, there is always a crowd out there on your way. Each person in the crowd has different reason for being there; there is the group that are there to boo you, waiting for you to give up, they are those that constantly point me to institutions where I can go keep Ziim and visit her occasionally. Some genuinely empathize with you offering help each time you arrive at the third station or the sixth one. I recognize them from the way they wipe my face by the assistance they render us and call on others to take interest in CpCenter.

Cross? Yes, that is what she is to me for I know that one day I shall celebrate, I shall exchange her for a price, the ultimate which is eternity!


2 thoughts on “Burden? Cross??

  1. Nonye, another beautiful and touching write up. As usual, I enjoy reading your blog, as Emy agreed, hopefully it will be a book someday. Yes, “Diary of a mother of CP child” or …….
    Well ????Cross or ????burden, I think these are semantics and personal preference/”choice” of word. I think some words truely mean what one what it to mean. Words like “special need child”, “handicap child”, “challanged child”, “challanging child” “special angel” ……….. etc. They are words that saying “almost” the same thing, but not quiet, but mean different things to different people, and one has to look beyond the words…..

    I always read with smile and grateful hearts, when you mention the many “angels”/”veronica”/simon on the way that help you or make the journey/load/cross/burden lighter. I sincerely thank God for them. I want to believe that there are NON or minimal people in the crowd who truely boo you or wait for you to fall/fail. Yes, they may point to you to put ZimZim in an instititue/home etc, BUT, it MAY be all they have ever known, and they may not have any guile in suggesting so, appaling as it may sound to you or some other person, it is actually NORMAL to the other person. I think if we recognise that people do not mean harm, it may be more “freeing”.
    As always, with love and prayers


  2. Rev. Fr Richard Ogedengbe, OP

    Our dear sister Nonye, many thanks for your beautiful reflection and enlightenment. Yours is not just a positive thinking but a practical faith (a rare one at that) demonstrated. What Jesus said to Peter holds true for you; it is not flesh and blood that revealed this hidden secret (this faith of yours) to you but God Himself has given you as a gift to be treasured and guarded jealously.

    You endeded up here giving a more profound preaching (more profound because it is a product of practical experience and years of battle to make a choice bettween listening to the wisdom of the world and Divine wisdom) than that which informed your write-up.

    Thank you for affording me the opportunity to share from your experience.

    Your hope will never be in vain.


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