On the 2nd of January 2002, I was pregnant for my first child Pearl, and was going down the stairs of my office, when I fell on my tummy and started bleeding.
I was rushed to the hospital and thank God my baby survived in my womb, though I was bleeding heavily.
I delivered my son, who today is 16 years old to the Glory of God.
It was not easy for me, because I lose the partial usage of my legs, though I was assured by science that time was going to fix everything. I became partially handicap and everything in my life started falling apart. I wanted my legs back. I wanted to be the smart young woman I was. I wanted to climb on the tall heel shoes that I was used to wearing. Everyone who knew me before my accident knew I was one of the hottest selling cakes around.
All of a sudden I started limping. I became the subject of mockery to many.
I touched every crooked and holy corners seeking for solutions. All I wanted was to be whole again. All I ever wanted was to be the smart woman who was always running about, doing her things without relying on individuals.
Human beings did not help. They laughed as often as they could. Mocked at the new way I walked. Made me feel less human. Made me spend sleepless nights of thoughts. Made me feel rejected.
I was accepted in the face, but rejected in the back. One of our senior bosses the late Njamfa Patrick once told me during an internal interview, after I had passed all the stages and was the last woman standing, waiting to be appointed that: ” Henriette you are a very intelligent, smart and hardworking woman, but this position needs someone who is physically apt”. I looked at him in the eyes, reminded him of how I was his favourite staff before the accident, cursed him in the face, and slammed the door hard behind me, living him in the confusion of his conscience court.
I promised myself to do whatever it would take to get full usage of my legs, even if it meant talking to Satan himself. Medical Sciences, Native doctors, black, red and white churches and prayer houses etc…. could not help me, despite the many millions of F CFA I spent in the process.
I lost the opportunity of traveling to the US where I thought help was waiting. Lost my mind. Spent months of unconsciousness and madness in the hospital because of acute depression, before miraculously regaining my mind.
Life was rough than any hurricane. I was so concerned about getting my legs back that I forgot that I was just handicap in the leg, and that my hands, head, heart and everything else was in order, and that I could use them and remain happy, in as much as I am alive.
With the help of my Psychiatrist Dr. Jon, I asked myself, if I should stop leaving because I have a handicap leg rejected by men, but accepted by God? Should I continue to leave a life of pity and pains just because I am handicap in the leg?
I then repented of stressing myself over things I had no control over, because God is the owner of my life, and apart from the beautiful legs he gave me that got ruined since the pregnancy fall 16 years ago He blessed me with many other gifts that I am using today for the Glory of His Name.
Yes, some human beings will want to make you feel little less than them because you are suffering from one physical or moral deficiency, by calling you a handicap. Yet inside their beautifully clothed skin, they are suffering from many internal issues and even more than you, because they are nothing close to the handicap you.
I have learned over time that being handicap in the leg should not stop me from going places I want to go if I am determined to go. Being handicap should not stop me from being the intelligent woman I am. Being handicap did not stop me from carrying the most controversial pregnancy for nine months, nine years after the fall, when even the most learned Medical Practitioners said it was impossible.
Being handicap did not stop the law from hammering me, when I went astray. Being handicap did not change my name.
Being handicap might have changed the way I do things, but should not stop me from doing things, because I am determined to right all the wrongs I did, while fighting to change what was beyond my power.
I am inspired this morning to encourage everyone who is battling with a physical or emotional challenge, to look beyond the handicap legs, hands, eyes ears etc… and see the treasures in you that you can exploit and change your mind-set. Being handicap is not the end of your life.
Handicaps get married. They bear children; they do things at times better than those without defects.
Death is eminent. When death comes knocking, it doesn’t care if you are handicap, whole, rich or poor. It takes you away, and what will be left and told of/about you, will be the LEGACY you leave behind.
If you have a handicap leg like me, your hands and brains are still functional, and you can use what is functioning in you, to serve God and man for the Greater Glory of God.
Being physically challenged and alive is a big reason to be grateful and thankful. Don’t sit and cry in regret, for there are many other parts of your body begging for your attention.