Four Decades in the Battlefield and Still Standing Tall!

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‘How old are you? 

I get asked this question often and I always do one of these; I say:

‘Guess’

‘It is not right to ask a lady her age’

Or I tell my age.

Interestingly, the reply to ‘guess’ is always between 25- 27 or lower and the reaction during those rare moments I decide to tell my age is always disbelief.

‘Comot de you di hurry fo old?

Yours Truly @ 14, 33 & 39

Thank God for baby face and original mannequin figure, giving me eternal youthfulness.

And today I stand tall only by His Grace as I look back to 4 decades in the battlefield.

The battle for survival began since from the word go even though I could say myfirst real visit to the battlefield was when I was about 2years old. This is what makes our fight different. A soldier can come out of a battlefield alive and never go back. Heor she becomes a veteran and to the best of my knowledge, may decide to carve a new life for themselves away from the rigours of military life and the battle ground. For me and many other sickle cell warriors, ours is anever ending battle in which hospitals become our permanent battle field. I have been going to this unique battlefield all my life.

 

Not 4 seconds or 4 minutes. Not even 40 minutes but 40 years!

During these years, I have cried my eyes out, endured pains and injections, worried about medications damaging my organs, faced disappointments, broken promises and scattered dreams and yet, I have been fighting just as hard as any other battle worn warrior to come out alive again and again. Through it all, faith, love and a strong support team of family and friends kept me going.

Coping with Broken Dreams and Disappointments

As a young girl, I dreamt about my fairytale wedding. In fact, I even set my marriage age at 24, made many mental plans of how it would all turn out and dreamt about growing old with a husband and kids, a house built with love and a white picket fence. Of course, that was before the harsh realities of life as a warrior started sinking in. Dealing with stereotypes and discrimination and the realisation that marriage is a luxury many sickle cell warriors cannot afford. As the years ebbed and flowed, the dreams slowly began to die. Discouragement replaced hope but still I forged on, focusing on the gift of life and striving for positivity and happiness

I am probably going to be a shelf case, the favourite maiden aunt of the family. Or just maybe, like I love to say when asked why a beautiful girl like me is not yet married; God is still to write the conclusion of my love story.

Where there is life… well, geh get fo dream.

The disappointments have been there. The broken promises were not left out. The emotional gap and financial toll which left huge holes in my pockets and my family’s have also been there. The uncertainties by my family and everyone close who saw me go into the battlefield again and again have been theretoo. Still, I kept fighting and I have been standing tall for 4 decades.

Am I old? Yes

Have I made some mistake and addressed someone younger than me as ‘grand?’ probably. It is easier to err on the side of caution because, I feel very uncomfortable addressing an older person by their name. Well, na just me oh.

Have I achieved anything society expects someone at 40 to achieve? Maybe or   Maybe not. My greatest achievement will always be defying the odds and staying alive.

Have I done this? Have I done that? Have I… too many have I?

My bank account is still fluctuating, I am still renting and commuting by taxi. One thing remains certain, in the face of disappointments, broken dreams, near deaths, uncertainties, constant holes in my pocket, delayed whatever; I look back at 4 decades juggling life at the battlefield with nothing but joy and thankfulness.

Thankful because in the face of seeming insurmountable obstacles, I trudged through them all, clearing them as I pass through. Thankful because, no matter how bitter the lemons life threw at me, I learnt with the help of my family and loved ones to make the best lemonade filled with sweetness and positivity. Thankful because where many thought I couldn’t live pass 20, I am still here at 40 and still standing tall. Thankful because where many around me saw only dark clouds, my family and the many friends who joined the cheering team as I walked this journey called life propelled me towards silver linings. Thankful because, well just thankful to be ALIVE!

 Hope to keep standing tall for a long time to come.

Not by my strength, not by any special mightiness. Gratitude to my God Jehovah and to my family and friends for helping me walk through this particular battlefield with grace, poise and positivity. And as I look back with a joyful and thankful heart, I hope to keep walking and fighting for a long time to come.

I haf olde ern

Show some #Respek … 🙂

Keep reading, keep sharing and keep commenting. We are inspired by your comments, thank you.

ARREY E. AGBOR-NDAKAW.

 

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Author: ARREY - ECHI

I am a Sickle Strong Warrior and Advocate. Welcome to my space.

13 Replies to “Four Decades in the Battlefield and Still Standing Tall!”

  1. Sis, you are forty for real??? Like F.O.R.T.Y?
    I knew you were 30 something though you look 25. But 40? No!
    The young genes you’ve been blessed with are incredible. Please pass some to me.

    This was such a delight to read. You are a true warrior. You are one of the most accomplished people I know because you didn’t waste your pain. You turned it into something beautiful and admirable.

    May God amplify your voice in this new year. May your relationship with Him blossom like never before. May He bless you beyond your imagination. Happy 40th!

    Man get to increase level of respeck now so.

    http://www.preciouscore.com

  2. Yes my dear sis I am 40 as in F.O.R.T.Y. lol

    Thank God indeed for young genes. Feel free to tab some dear.

    Thank you ever so much for your kind and encouraging words. They mean alot and Amen to all the prayers.
    Try increase that level of respek lol.

    Thank you sis. May blessings always beyours.

  3. Aunty Arrey this is not wrapping up time you know. It is a time to reflect on how strong you’ve been at 4T.
    Assesment time
    Stock taking
    A new wave
    Glory!

  4. My dear friend,
    your story is a testimony that would give hope and courage to millions around the world.
    Welcome to the glorious forties, they say life really begins at forty.
    Do not give up , God has not yet concluded your case and He makes everything beautiful in His time….,Just keep on trusting him…., keep on counting your blessings and name them one by one and it would surprise what the lord has done.
    The price for your healing was paid more than 2000 years ago ( 1 peter 2:24, Mathew 8:17)just move forward and claim it today. Remain ever blessed.

    1. Thank you so much Mr Ashu for stopping by and for those encouraging words. Yes ready to roll at forty and hanging on tight to those silver linings. No time to give up.

      I sincerely hope this inspires many more and that would make it all worthwhile, putting my life out here.

      Thank you for the verses. I sure will keep counting my blessings.

      More blessings your way and please do come again.

  5. God continue his great work in your life. We can oy try to imagine but we really cannot phantom. As of this life and love, my dear, we keep waiting, nobody master this thing but I pray that your heart’s desires be granted.and may your days be filled with more stable health, joy and happiness.

  6. this is amazing, wait a minute, are u really 4t? Jesus, I couldn’t have thought. U age very wel.. U age like wine. Hats off to u hun, what doesn’t kill you makes u stronger. So baby girl, straighten your crown and walk away from all the pain like the boss that u are.U are an inspiration to many . Please can I share this post? I can’t tell you enough what an amazing person u are .I am proud to know u. Thanks for being a light to the world.

    1. My dear Angele,
      Yes, I am really 4T ah don olde nor? 🙂
      Thank you very very much your words and presence here are very encouraging and you are right,what doesn’t kill only makes one stronger. And I pray to keep walking tall for a long time to come.
      Please feel free to share the post. My goal is to encourage someone hopefully it will when you share. Thanks again.

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