We first met Wani about a year ago when she came to Uluhati for a family day. Since then she has been a constant and regular visitor to the farm, nowadays every Friday between 9.00 am till about 10 am. At first glance one may take Wani to be any other 22/23 year old young lady on the threshold of adulthood, looking out to the world for its wonders and promises. My heart always ache when I see these young faces. In my twilight years I have learned, as all us senior citizens would have, that the wonders and promises often comes with its fair share of aches and pain, which despite its crushing load, obligates us to overcome them so that we may grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. After all, is not the strongest and purest of metals forged in the hottest furnace.
Wani had graduated with a Degree in Accountancy and is now doing her professional ACCA qualification. If an accounting degree is tough, getting through ACCA might be comparable to getting certified as a Special Forces military personnel. My fifth daughter too is of the same age and also followed the same career path, except that she is doing her ACCA on the job, whilst Wani is doing it full time. It is heart breaking to see the transformation in my daughter from sheer jubilant upon her acceptance at one of the Big 3 accounting firms to utter disbelieve at how the world panned out in reality. So here I go again trying to steady the ship as it got hit by the storm from all sides. With 9 children I have been doing this on regular basis over the years as they step out one by one into the world, all eager eyed and excited. It does not get any easier for them nor for me and there still a few more to go.
Anyway back to Wani. You see, Wani is different. She suffers from Cerebral Palsy, which gives her very little control over her body and limbs. But in her difference she is special and this special thing comes from inside of her. Every Friday morning her father and her would come to the farm so that she could ride the horse as a form of therapy. Despite all difficulties she would stay on the horse for the full 40 minutes and do all the exercises required of her smilingly without any hint of fear or complaint. Something which many normal people find it hard to do. In fact these riding sessions were at her insistence. We also learnt that after sufficient coaching she is now a competent swimmer and could swim non-stop for a full 2 hours. Now how many people can do that?
In Wani we see a fine example of a stout, unrelenting heart which believes in itself and the extent one can stretch oneself if only we believe in ourselves. On the other hand it is sad to see many people endowed with all the necessary faculties making all kinds of excuses for not doing what they are charged to do, i.e. exploiting and realizing their fullest potential. In other words, just plain lazyy...Oooops, sorry, not really....
In her father, I see a standard I would find difficult to match. The patience, perseverance, love and devotion showed to his daughter is humbling, something I can only hope and pray to achieve. I understand he recently opted for early retirement from a senior position in a GLC to attend to Wani. Now, is that something.
In these two people are shining examples of the finest of the human spirit, one of determination and the other of love, which hopefully will provide encouragement to us all.
I am reminded of a saying : Everybody dies, but how many actually lived....
Nite, have a good weekend.