“You are special. You understand me,” said Anoushka when I met her last Sunday. Her words almost made me cry because Anouskha is a beautiful and intelligent 27-year-old girl who has lived almost her entire life on a wheel chair.
We were at Anoushka s house to send the day and it was truly a memorable and inspiring experience for me.
I first met Anoushka less than a month ago at my sister Indini’s birthday party. They attend the school for differently abled persons in Colombo but while Indini suffers from schizophrenia, a mental illness, Anoushka suffers from a physical handicap. But both those with physical and mental handicaps have their fair share of challenges to overcome and issues that have to be dealt with a lot of patience.
Though confined to a wheelchair, Anouskha has her dreams like all of us. The first time I met her she asked me to find her a boyfriend. That is when I asked her how old she is. “Twenty Seven,’ she said. She asked me how many kids I had. “Two,” I said. She said she wants to experience motherhood. To feel what it is like to carry a baby inside of her.
It made me think later that being a mother is indeed a privilege which I have almost always taken for granted. It was, for me, something I excepted to happen soon after I got married and I did become a mother within little over a year of being married. But that was after suffering a miscarriage. I had always dreamed of being a wife and mother from my young days probably influenced by all the fairy tales I read and later by the Mills and Boons romances. I always wanted to be the perfect wife and mother which I have to say I have not even come close to becoming. But I think I have managed to raise two decent boys and hope they don’t get into too much trouble in the future. That of course time will tell. I ve also managed to juggle home life and work, thanks greatly to the two grandmothers who pitch in to help out so generously.
But getting back to the issue of motherhood, what I now understand is that it’s not something that can be taken for granted. Not by a long shot. When I see my friends struggle to get pregnant and when my own sister is struggling to be a mom, I know that nothing in life can be expected to take a certain path.
Looking back – miscarriages, Caesarian sections, stretch marks, leaking breasts, sleepless nights and emergency trips to hospitals, all seem worthwhile.
It’s so easy for any of us to be on the other side by some twist of fate and Anoushka’s words made me realize that nothing should be taken for granted in this life.