“I want to thank you very much for coming and talking with us. Your talk really inspired me. I was contemplating dumping my child with an institution here in Ibadan, but having listened to you, I will no longer do that, I will take care of my son. It is not easy, but I will try”.
These were the words of Mummy M to me Saturday afternoon at Ibadan. You can never imagine how these words made me feel. They made the trip to Ibadan worthwhile! I quickly forgot all the “wahala” of making the trip.
Travelling with Ziim is not always easy. I have to plan and consider all the adaptations to be made. Then the expense! But the lure of getting out of Lagos albeit for a short while was very strong. Plus the fact that the young man, Julius, that invited me to give a talk at the meeting he was having with parents with CP was very persistent. If i failed to yeild to his persistence, I could not dismiss the urge to meet a group of parents who are walking the same path as me in Ibadan.
So it was that Friday afternoon, Ziim and I set off to Ibadan. Thank God for brothers!! My brother made sure that the trip was stress free. Saturday morning, we were at the meeting, venue was at the Oni and Sons children’s Hospital ring road, Ibadan. It was a very good ineractive session. I was happy to share with the parents what have helped me so far to walk the path of a mother with a severly brain injured child and learn from them. I will probably post that on a different post.
It is apparent that we all have common fears, particularly those of us whose children are severely involved. As they get older caring for them becomes more and more difficult in a society such as ours that seems to have no room for our kind of children. The environment tries to make you prisoner as it becomes increasingly difficult for you to take your child out, even when you want to. This is one of the reasons why mummy M, above was contemplating taking her son to an institution. Her son is 7 years, carrying the child about is becoming increasingly difficult, it is beginning to tell on her back. We all agreed that institutionalizing a child is not a better options as we all know that in most institutions that care for children with disabilities, those with CP are the ones less taken care of because of the difficulty in caring for them. The child is better off with his family.
The meeting ended with us all agreeing that the journey of bringing up our children with CP is one we need to do hand in hand with each other, destiny has made us relations thus no one needs to travel the road alone. There is a need for us to come togeher to decide what happens to our children, we need to hang on to one another.
Sunday, after mass at the Dominican institute, Ziim and I came back to Lagos. Yes, we are back to Lagos, looking forward to a good week. It was a good weekend. How was yours?