Marjorie became the happiest woman in the world when she got married to her high school sweetheart in their remote Pacific island. Having spent her childhood at an orphanage, she so much desired to have a family of her own. Things could not have been more perfect when she fell pregnant. All the preparations were in place and the happy couple could not wait to finally hold their baby in their arms.
The day arrived and Marjorie was excited to be a mother. The doctor walked in the ward with a faint smile on his face. She became anxious and confused and begged the doctor to tell her if everything was well with their new born daughter, Desiree. “What do you mean Desiree has been born with a rare condition”, she asked with perplexity. “I am sorry, she will never be able to walk on her own two feet”, the doctor explained. Henry; Marjorie’s husband, full of rage stormed out and never returned for he believed in the myth that disability is a disgrace and a curse to the family. Marjorie’s ‘perfect world’ had crumbled before her very eyes. She was all alone. No home, no job, no support. Nothing!! “All I wanted was a family so I could never feel like an orphan again”, she sobbed.
Years went by as Marjorie worked small jobs to feed their hungry tummies. Even though raising her daughter in the streets was not a walk in the park, Desiree grew up to be a fine young woman, who despite her disability, had a healthy self-esteem; thanks to her loving and reassuring mom. Marjorie did well to squeeze every penny she made to put Desiree in school, from which she graduated and became a doctor. Their life changed from rags to robes.
One day as Marjorie was driving Doctor Desiree to work, she spotted a man lying lifeless at the side of the road, covered in blood and left for dead. “He must have fallen among robbers, he is badly injured, we have to help”, she exclaimed bringing the car to an abrupt stop. She quickly called for help and they carried the man to the hospital. Dr Desiree did all that she could to save the man’s life and after 3 days, the man had fully recovered. “What happened to me, why am I here?” the man asked in shock. “Stay calm sir, you were badly injured, but you are on a path to recovery now”, the nurse replied. “Ok, but don’t let that disabled doctor near me, I don’t want to carry a curse from this hospital” the man added.
In shock, the nurse responded, “Sir, that doctor is the one who picked you up from the roadside where you were left for dead, she hasn’t gone home in 3 days attending to you. You are lucky we have doctors like her in this hospital otherwise, you would have been dead by now”. The nurse then turned to Dr Desiree and said “Please don’t take offense Dr Desiree, forgive his ignorance”. At that moment Marjorie entered the room to bring her daughter lunch and came in eye contact with the man lying on the hospital bed. “Henry??”, Marjorie exclaimed astonishingly. “You two know each other?”, Dr Desiree asked. “How can I not know him, he turned his back on both of us in this very hospital. Dr Desiree, this man is your father”, Marjorie narrated as tears rolled down her cheeks like a fountain. Henry begged for forgiveness and asked for an opportunity to get to know his daughter and spend more time with her. The rejected disabled daughter became the doctor that saved the life of a father who abandoned her.
- Do not discriminate people based on abilities, race, ethnic group etc. No one is disabled, they are just differently enabled.
- Forgive and forget. People can be mean, arrogant, rude etc but know that your love is being put to the test. Love people in spite of how they treat you.
- Do not look down upon anyone. Help can come from the least expected people. The people you regard as outcasts, as good for nothing and not worthy to be in your circle of friends can be the ones to save your life or help you through life’s pressing moments.
- Celebrate people like Marjorie and Desiree who press on against all odds.
- As Service Captains we sincerely appreciate Batsiranai; a Zimbabwean organisation that brings together women that have been shunned by their community because they gave birth to disabled children; similar to Marjorie’s situation. The Batsiranai group came together in 2005 to work and fend for their families. The women take part in activities that include embroidery and painted handicrafts for international trade. If Marjorie had met a group like Batsiranai, it would have become easier to take care of her daughter and work with a supportive group.
- If you have an opportunity to start/run/work in an organisation that helps people; pursue it, do good and give it your all; your organisation can be an answer to someone’s prayer. Service Captains would be glad to help through the journey.