When we hear Sickle Cell, what come to mind are always pain, hospital stays, medicines and more medicines, near deaths and probably no concrete future to dream about. After all, what has a half die got to think about a future right?
Of course, the concerns are valid and I am in no way trying to minimize the fact that for the warrior life would certainly revolve around pains, hospital stays, medicines, fighting the grim reaper one too many times, tears, heartbreaks etc etc. And I certainly understand when concerned people tell a couple to desist from marriage if they are both carriers of the SS gene. I am a strong advocate on avoiding the least possibility of bringing forth a warrior child. However, the reasons some advance as to why people with the SS gene shouldn’t marry always makes me wonder.
When you hear statements like “you will spend all your life in the hospital caring for a sick child before you will know”, “these kids have no future and you will be ruined caring for one”, these kids are so and so ah ah you sit and wonder if that is all people see in a warrior’s life?
We live with the tears, pains, fears, worries, medicines and hospital trips because like it or not, they are part of our lives. Still, our lives are far much more than these six cardinal points many have decided to attribute to sickle cell warriors.
For one thing, there’s no guarantee that the person everyone sees as the healthier one with a bright future ahead will live to a ripe old age neither is there a guarantee that the sickle cell child everyone sees, shakes their head in pity thinking they will drop at anytime will die within the next few minutes. Life generally, is unpredictable and none of us can predict how our lives would turn out.
I have seen many who thought I couldn’t live past twenty long gone while I am still here waxing strong into my forties. All these happened not because I have some special prowess. It just shows what a difference care, positive outlook and divine grace can make.
Everyone also falls sick and while some may never actually see a hospital, the percentage of that is minimal. When we start seeing warriors as individuals going through life with their own life struggles albeit different from those of others, we can begin to see beyond the social constructs of only a life of pain, hospitals, medicines etc.
We do not spend our waking moments crying and all that in fact, we spend our lives just like every other person doing the mundane and serious things and taking the occasional break when the pains come in. At least, we understand what we are facing and what precautions to take which is not the same about a so healthy person dropping and being diagnosis with a life threatening condition that forces them to make life changes.
Parents with warrior kids who treat their warrior child like any other child deserving of love, care and just maybe a little extra focus do grow to have unique and special memories with their kids because, when treated as normal as any other person, we thrive, we dream, we think positive and we dare to live life to the fullest. We can become anything we want to become all we need to reach those heights is for people to stop branding us with stereotypes. Just as some warriors, have died, many more have lived and achieved far beyond expectations to change these stereotypes if only people are willing to look past them.
There’s more to life for a warrior than pain, tears, hospital trips, medicines, fear etc. That is because where others see…
… Roadblocks, we see possibilities
Where they see darkness, we see light
Where they see pain and tears, we see joy and laughter
Where they see agony, we see hope and dare to dream.
Nobody said life as a warrior is easy. Still, nobody said it couldn’t be worth living with all the joys and happiness either. It is all in the mind. Think positive when you see a warrior next time, look past the pain and tears and see the other side of the coin. You will be amazed at what is in store.
Attitude is everything.
Keep reading, keep sharing and keep commenting. We are inspired by your comments.
ARREY E. AGBOR-NDAKAW