As we prepare for the Formal Launching of the Feet of Grace Foundation on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016, I thought it would be great to unveil the story of my journey to WALKING AGAIN. I shared a part of the story, which I titled a “Summer Without Painted Toenails and Dainty Slippers” on the event page on Facebook.
Today, I will share another portion of the story here with you.
To Walk Again
Happy or sad.
Smile or cry.
Joy or sorrow.
I knew I had to make a choice.
I could be happy and joyful that I was finally standing again. And I could be sad and morose that I am never going to have painted toenails or wear dainty slippers again. The choice is mine and mine alone.
At that point in time, I was not thinking about choices. All I was seeing were the challenges of life as an amputee. But for one brief moment, I took my eyes off the prosthesis, and I looked up;
“I am standing. I am actually standing.”
At first I wobbled on the “feet of grace” and the ladies (my physiotherapists) looped their arms behind me. Then I straightened my body. Pulled my frail shoulders up and my bony chest out. I almost miss the opportunity to be grateful for that moment. I almost allowed the sight of the prosthesis to mar the joy of being able to stand again after months of oscillating between the bed and the wheelchair.
In less than two minutes of standing, my hands began to wobble on the bars and I could feel the pressure of my stumps in the cup. I wanted to stand a little longer. I could not.
“You are tired?” She smiled at me. “you are doing great, rest a little and we will do it again.”
So they gently lowered me back on the wheelchair. They fine-tuned the balancing of the stems of the prosthesis. They lifted me back on my feet again and I stood for a little while longer. That was it for the day.
It was June 30th, 2013. That day will remain etched in my memory.
It was exactly one month after the amputation. And it was a miracle to be trying on a prosthetic limb so soon. For most people, it takes up to six months before staring the process of ambulation. So I guess this unusual feat, never heard of before in that hospital, should give me many reasons to be joyful and dancing on my wheelchair after my first standing session.
I thought so too.
But when I got to back to my room, flashes of painted toenails and, dainty slippers oscillated with flashes of plastic cup, metal stem and “oyinbo” skin-coloured feet in black zip-up shoes. I bowed my head on the table in front of me, frail shoulders arched over the table trembled as an indescribable pain seared my heart. I wept.
It was in that state, my dear SistaFriend called me from Nigeria. I poured my heart out to her. She said, “No one expects you to be a super-Christian. It is okay to cry. You can approach God and tell Him how you feel. You can ask Him why, and you can pour out your heart to Him.”
I had been trying to be stoic. I thought I could take it in my strides. After all, I am alive. But I had to be honest with God about my feeling. I had to be honest that I was angry and I didn’t not like what had happened to me. I had to be honest that I wanted to know why after all I had been through, I had to go through another complication in my life.
I wept before the Lord. I poured out my pain, my anger and my questions to God. I did it when I was alone. I did not want the pity of anyone. I didn’t want the nurses to see me and crowd around me. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. This was strictly between me and God, between a daughter and her Father!
He wrapped His arms around me and held me close to His chest. His breath enveloped me. He spoke His peace to my heart. He gave me an assurance that there is purpose in all of these.
An understanding of God as a God of purpose, Who is not haphazard in His dealings, became a life-saver for me at this time. With the encouragement of my husband, sons and friends, I began to focus on the victory God gave us through the valley of the shadow of death. God gave me the precious gift of grace to regain my cheerfulness, to keep my smile on come what may, and stay focus on the goal—to walk again.
And now, the Feet of Grace Foundation is helping amputees to walk again. That’s why we request the pleasure of your company as we celebrate a dream come true.
If you are in Lagos and environs, please do join us as we formally launch the Feet of Grace Foundation on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016, to the glory of God.
Venue: The Imperial Hall. 2, Oba Jobi Fele Way. Alausa Secretariat. Behind Marwa Gardens, Lagos.