This summer I had the opportunity to spend some up close and personal time with a few of my women friends. There have been times in the past that I have Thanked God for the blessed life I lead. This summer I realized that I really do. I am going to tell you in detail, about four very special women, my heroes, that I got to spend quality time with, this July.
Woman 1 We had not spent time together after Grade ten. And that was over 25 years back. Yet, when I heard about her loss, meeting her felt the most logical thing to do. She had three young kids, a business to run and she was all alone. I felt guilty. I was not in touch with the reality that was her life. Only when she began to tell me that she felt like a bird out of cage since her widowhood, I realized how unhappy she must have been with her married status. True she has a bungalow to live in and kids who adored her but living in the shadow of a business man husband, who discounted her ability to do anything sensible in life because she was a woman must have hurt bad. True she was not academically inclined to complete schooling like the rest of us did but not being able to give vent to her artistic, interior design skills because she was married off early to this insensitive dead man is unbelievably sad. The little time I spent with her, I saw a spark that had lit her life. Now she could show the world what she was made of. Now, life was beginning.
Woman 2 Her daughter and my child began the journey of formal education together in a different city where we both lived then. The birthday parties she hosted were the best. She managed the house, two kids and yet had time to do more. She coached, mentored,taught, sang and went everywhere on foot. She was fit, she was happy. Or so I thought. Until two years back, she walked out of her happy life with a boxful of clothes and the children’s school bags. I was shocked. When women like her do not speak the truth that was her life, it takes time for people to digest facts. The ideal husband material turned out to be a wimp. He could not handle her need to be recognized, to be financially independent, to be appreciated for what she was worth. He continued to be belligerent and bossy. She kept her calm and went on with life till she could not handle it anymore. It was her sanity that was at stake. She knew she could make it on her own if she stayed sane.
Woman 3 She married a man she chose. She anticipated that he would give her that perfect life she yearned for; the one that she did not live as a child. She willingly relocated her life to a new country to begin her life after marriage. She was expecting her first child soon. What she did not anticipate was that her first and only child would not know his dad ever. The man she married, the dad to her only unborn child, her lover and husband, walked out on her when she was in the 6th month of pregnancy. He had found yet another love and walked away from responsibility. I was bitter. I always knew her as a pleasant, naive, studious, will-go-any-lengths-to-please-my-mom person. When she cut herself off from the World around her, refused to speak and be spoken to, never responded to any mails, you knew that life had not been fair to her. She sulked alone. She probably blamed herself for not seeing through the facade of the man who pretended reciprocal love. She lived a few years of her life in abandon and despair. Until one day, she saw her child growing up to be a beloved young man. She owed it to him. She owed it to her mom who stood by her, never once pointing out to her for the flaw she could have prevented.
Woman 4 Her parents had never made her feel loved. She was always considered a burden in the family. A specimen of an unwanted species of human kind who was occupying space at home. Her insides hurt every time her parents told her that. They married her away to a man who told her on the bridal night, that he married her because his brother in law desired her. Her fate was doomed. She was meant to have an unhappy life, or so it seemed. She could not live another day wallowing in self pity. She walked out of her husband’s and parents’ house. She was determined not to be dependent on anyone and took strength from her belief in the superior power of God. Her life was empty and loveless until she met this wonderful man. He offered to walk with her in her journey of life. My faith in life was renewed.
To the four of you, my beloved friends, I dedicate this blog post. I salute you for your faith in yourself, in the magical power of self esteem and the strength with which you face your adversities.
From you I learn that you can go on despite the curves life throws at you.
From you I draw strength and check myself when I have the urge to crib.
From you I have learnt not to take anything for granted and to be thankful for every blessing in my life.
Love you all.