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In Verse: A Tribute to My Friend ‘X’ and Her Differently-abled Son

My friend – I’ll call her ‘X’ today – brought up her differently-abled son with the fiercest love and strength.

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Women
5 min read
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There are women…
And there are women,
Some we get to read about…
Some who shout out loud…

Some never heard of…
But significant and sound…
They make a difference,
Without a doubt…
Though we don’t see them around…

They do what they do…
Not for accolades or coin,
They just do what they do,
Because they have to!

They’re thrown into a fray,
Forced into adversity, they say,
But tribulation, though trying,
Has made them stronger today!

And their stories are therapy,
For others, maybe you,
Certainly me…
I’ve had the privilege…
Of them inspiring me, to see…

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They’re inspirational…
Not by awards, or...
Conventional milestone acts…
They’re just being who they are…
Dealing with inevitable facts…

That life has meted out to them…
They’re not the crème de la crème…
Who we ‘love’ to read about…
They are quiet in their strife…
So for them, we should shout!

I’ll tell you about one such lady…
I’ll call her ´X’…
For now, for the sake of anonymity…

I worked with her…
Many years ago,
And I hope and pray…
That she knows…
(I’ve told her so)
That in so many ways…
And till today…
She inspires me,
And will always…

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Her son, a dear, dear boy…
Was disabled after birth…
Due to a ‘mishap’ that occurred…
He was fine at birth,
And when he was…
Just three days old,
Crying incessantly, I’m told…
A nurse, to quieten him, she gave,
An irregular dose of a sleeping drug,
In an instant, it was too late…
To take it back…
The infant turned so pale…
And lacked…
All movement, he became…
So still…and life…
Would NEVER be the same…

From a coma, he came to…
A massive attempt had ensued,
But revival came with a price,
Cerebral functioning was compromised…
A part of my friend, X, it died…

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They called it ‘unfortunate’,
That’s all?!?
Now the boy…
Is big and tall,
But still in a wheelchair, nonetheless,
Yet…
Many times over,
The boy is blessed,
Because of my friend, X!

She didn’t fight the doctor,
She just let it go…
That was the first time…
Real strength did show…

When I asked her why…
Why she didn’t fight…
She just heaved a sigh…

I would’ve spent all…
My strength for years,
Maybe shed many…
Many more tears…
Without any guarantee…
Of any kind of accountability…

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I’d rather spend it on him…
Make his life better to live in…
Put my energy in the right place…
And make my son live with grace!

To me, a twenty-two year old, then…
I couldn’t understand this woman…
Nor fathom…
But now, looking back, I think…
This was will that wouldn’t shrink…
This was a woman who could rightly think…

She chose to put energy…
In the right place, put on a grin…
Acted for her dear child…
Till “acting” became her life…

And soon, she didn’t have to act happy…
Glee came quite naturally…
As she saw progress in her son…
From all he did…
And all she’d done!

From day one, her son was a challenge,
Cerebral palsy is no cake walk,
And a multiple disability as this…
One’s really tested to walk the talk!
To make him sit, was a task…
To get a response took so long…
It was as if his face was a mask…
And utmost care was prolonged…

Even to get him to hold his head up…
To lift a bit…was no tea in a cup!
But X never said, “I’ve had enough”….
X was sure, smooth would follow rough…

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A reaction, she did get…
And it was worth waiting for…
His sensory perception did improve…
Though experts said they weren’t sure…

But X believed in him…
As much as she believed in herself…
And when I saw him at length…
I think our sessions did help…

With a torch, I saw detection of something…
This happened so slowly,
But I had a strong inkling…

That there was a chance…
However minute it seemed…
The boy was trying…
Because his mother believed!
And she inspired her husband…
Who has a major part in raising him…
He too, rises to occasions…
When people say chances are slim…

The most remarkable thing is,
X says her son inspires her now…
And that’s nothing short of amazing…
When you think of the what and the how…

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Even now, life is a challenge,
But X remains ever strong…
Through the pain her son sometimes feels…
Not comprehending where it stems from…

Activities of daily living…
Are the biggest mountains to climb…
For a child with cerebral palsy…
Sensory atrophy, epilepsy…

This woman, she’s very learned…
She had a career too…
But her son needed her more…
She didn’t have to think it through…

So if you’re giving up something…
‘Something’ has to be for something crucial,
There has to be a difference you’re making…
That’s important to YOU, and useful!

There’s nothing you forsake…
In giving up something…
To bake a cake…
To make a quilt…
To raise a child,
Or you needn’t feel the guilt,
If you want to work…
And if you stay home only a wee bit…

If you haven’t re-careered,
Don’t beat yourself up…
Don’t live with regret...
See good in what you’ve done!

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It can’t have been all that bad…
So just be glad…
A life isn’t wasted…
In making a bed, it counts!
Running a home is about…
Organisational skill…
There’s no doubt!

My friend, X, has written a book,
Where she writes of her life…
Through the eyes of her son…
And how a life’s challenge is won!

Whether you choose live-in motherhood…
Or choose to go into work…
Make your world count…
There are more ways than one…
For a human to be heard…
And action does, after all, speak louder than words...

And whenever you’re sad and blue…
At life and the way it treats you,
Some enormous challenges lie,
In the normal things that most of us do!

In the end, you have to be happy…
Happy in your own skin…
That is the real medal…
Happiness from within…
THAT is the real win!

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(Scherezade is a clinical child psychologist, part-timeish mother, blogger, French teacher and IATA teacher. She has worked with the differently abled, and now works on and off as a teacher, and carries a new kind of guilt – the guilt of being an over-involved mother!)

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(Scherezade Mansukhani has sent her blog to The Quint as part of our series of stories about India’s working women.)

(The Quint is trying to investigate what makes it easier or harder for women to be at the workplace. Can she return to work after a maternity leave with equal support from workplace and home? Does she carry the guilt of being away from her children while at work, and vice-versa? Even with or without baby, does the family share household responsibilities with her? Share your story, if you have one to tell, and we’ll publish it.)

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My friend – I’ll call her ‘X’ today – brought up her differently-abled son with the fiercest love and strength.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from gender and women

Topics:  Pregnancy   Differently Abled   Motherhood 

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