When the baby eventually came through, all the excitement built to a crescendo suddenly evaporated in moment. She didn’t look much like a baby; her limbs, all four of them, were severely malformed and she didn’t look like someone who could survive the cold harsh reality of present-day life.
Standing there, not knowing what to say, her father suggested that the doctors applied ‘mercy killing’ to put her out of the ‘misery’ she would have to live with – if she stood any chance of survival. Louise was that baby.
Her mother had walked into a hospital to be given a prescription when she told doctors she needed drugs to help with the morning sickness she had often and Thalidomide was administered. She had innocently consumed it, unwittingly but permanently disfiguring Louise, her unborn baby, for life.
Being twenty-two and married to his twenty-one year old sweetheart, her father had neither the time nor the money required to look after her nor hire carers who would wait on her all day. She was sent away from her sibling to a disabled children’s home.
Ordinarily, it would have been natural to assume that that would be the end of Louise, but it was not. She grew up to become a disabled woman; she is a strong mother and mentor, who now goes from place to place motivating young people many of whom are disabled.
Truth be told; there would come a time in a man or woman’s life, where your family and everyone else would abandon you to your fate. At that point, the very foundation of you beliefs and personality is put to the test. What would you do when loved ones turn their back on you? What do you do when the people have been there for, all your life turn their back on you when you need them the most?
Louise passed through a lot of things. The kids taunted and teased her. They made sure she felt the pain of her condition. How does it feel to have siblings as a child and be barred from playing with them or visiting them? Your crime being that you are disabled and watched on many times – as your parents keep their attention glued onto other things, making it look like as though you never existed. How do you find the strength to believe in yourself?
Has everybody given up on you? Have you been caught up in a loop of bad choices and are beginning to give up?
Today, I want to reach out to that person who think the whole world has turned its back on him. I want to reach out to that young person that is no longer sure if he still has hope in himself or his future. Maybe your family has disowned you; maybe they have washed their hands off you. Maybe they have even said that you shouldn’t come visiting.
It may not matter now if the bad choices you made have landed you in prison. Your life can get better if you’d get up and try again. Yes, you may not believe in yourself, but there is someone who believes in you. Life may be tough and you may be in a dark tunnel at the moment but it is always darkest before dawn.
You may ask how I got to know, but I know it because I was once a dropout, but today things are different. I have my fair share of mistakes too, but today, my story has changed.
It is not late to start again. You may have failed, but you are not failure. They may have said all kind of things; what they said may even have been the truth, but there is yet hope. It doesn’t matter what they said, what matters is that it is not over yet. What matters is there is still life and where there is a will, there is always a way. It doesn’t matter how messed-up you may look right now, others have come from worse circumstances and excelled.
So stand up again bearing in mind that it is not over yet. They may still be laughing and jeering at you, but it won’t hurt any more. You are not giving them that satisfaction-not anymore. So get up and try again. Refuse to stay down. Launch out again, put the shame and errors behind you and remember always, always and always, it is not over till you win.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Diego Vito Cervo