Monday, August 16, 2010

Be grateful for how you look, you dont know what you've got till you lose it

Yesterday, I was humbled by a sight I beheld after church and an ensuing interaction. I was going to write a post about it immediately I got home... but you know how these things go. I was extremely busy yesterday afternoon and evening. And when I finally got home at night, I could only sign in before I dozed off. Talk about willing spirit but weak body! Anyway, better late than never, right? Well, here goes...

When coming home from church yesterday, I saw a guy whose looks arrested me - and I don't mean in a good way. Being one who always notices when people stare for too long and sometimes often complains about it being rude and all, you must understand that it must have been a purely involuntary action. I was, literally, riveted to the spot and was only capable of two things - 1)staring and 2)keeping my mouth open in that perfect oval of astonishment. I was so transfixed by what I was gazing at that I didn't even know the guy had noticed and was staring back.

When our eyes finally met, I blushed purple under my chocolate skin and muttered, "I'm terribly sorry". The guys smiled with a hint of a twinkle in his eye and said, "Don't worry, I'd stare too". I marveled at his resilient spirit. I don't know how long he'd been like that but personally, even if I had been born looking like that, I doubt I'd ever be that comfortable in my disfigured skin.

Enough of the suspense, let me describe the guy to you. You know the condition where water gathers in/around the skull? Hydrocephalus, (pronounced /ˌhaɪdrɵˈsɛfələs/), also known as "water on the brain", is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, and mental disability. Hydrocephalus can also cause death. The name derives from the Greek words ὑδρο- (hudro-) "water", and κέφαλος (kephalos) "head". (source: wikipedia) You can find a photo here:

Well, this guy looked like he had that and someone had gotten an idea to knock a nail into one side of his head to get some of the fluid out. It was not a pleasant sight, to put it mildly. Before you get me wrong, I was not disgusted by what I saw, I was sad, filled with concern, and consumed with guilt over how much I take how I look for granted and am even ungrateful sometimes.

Emboldened by his statement, I asked, "Do you mind me asking what happened?"  "Haven't you already asked?" He retorted. "Touche" I said and laughed, praying he would satisfy my curiosity. "I had a motor accident and my helmet got crushed and caved in a side of my skull" He offered. I visibly blanched. The infamous motorcycle. My eyes misted over. "Are you crying?" He asked, He had a photograph in his hand. I sniffed away my tears and took the photo. "Is it you?" I asked. I couldn't hold back my tears anymore. He took the photo and said - A reminder not to go racing against a sports car on the Tema motorway. "I'm sorry'  I said. "Don't be". He replied "God's will concerning me shall still be done"

The he did something that humbled me and opened the floodgates of my tears. He looked at me and said - You're beautiful. Be grateful for it and strive to be a worthy custodian of the looks God has so freely bestowed upon you.

As I dressed up this morning, I took a long, hard look at my face and whispered "Thank you, Jehovah" and decided not to put on any make-up at all - not even powder. If Akwasi (my new friend) could wear his face with dignity, I don't have to make-up for anything... and henceforth, I will make no excuses for it. It is my face, & I love it! -warts and all.

(c) Nana Oye Odame

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