In July 2015, Mr Aisi, our children and I embarked on what would be our last holiday together as a family.
At the beginning of the year, I had a strong persistent feeling that we had to take a family holiday that year, and so, we spent the last 10 days of July in Dubai. We went on the dhow cruise, he and the kids rode on camels and we generally had a nice bonding time.
It was our second trip to Dubai and we had much fun. Mr Aisi and I also took the time to evaluate our marriage and relationship and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working out. We were friends, familiar with one another, I dare say we even loved each other but didn’t like each other (it’s possible ooo) and we resolved to give each other space and time until our last child went into university and then take another look at the marriage with a probable view to ending same.
We got back on July 31 and as he was taking out the suitcases from the car, he felt a sharp pain at his back, went to the hospital and was given an analgesic thinking it was just muscle cramps. Seven days later he woke up, went for a walk, got back home and laid down for a bit, he tried to get up and couldn’t due to serious pain. He went to the hospital, did CT scans and was faced with a report saying his spinal cord had collapsed in some sections. Long story short, in a week he had tests and a biopsy done, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) and began chemotherapy. The next five weeks saw us travelling to India where he had spinal surgery with rods inserted in his spinal cord.
Mr Aisi and I were friends and that friendship carried us through the tough times and reasserted itself in the battle against cancer. So, I stood with and by him in spite of all that had happened in our marriage and many times he would look at me, say thank you and then ask why I was taking care of him in the light of certain stuff and I always replied “because it’s the right thing to do”.
You see, although he had hurt me badly, I couldn’t forget the good he had done to me, too. He had loved me greatly and in loving me helped me love myself and I couldn’t leave him when he needed me whether or not he was at that time worthy of my love and care.
You may say that’s easy to say, you don’t know my spouse or my sibling, or my parents if you did you would leave them dry and cold. You may also say he may not have done the same for you if it was you that was ill and you may be right in both instances. I am not one to judge anybody and our feelings are ours and ours alone but we are beginning to see a lot of dysfunctional relationships and they seem to be increasing daily.
I am deeply worried because a lot of people (men and women) are hurting in their relationships. We have siblings not talking to each other, parents and children at war, husband and wife in a battle of control, children seeking acceptance in drugs and all sort of vices.
Our homes, which should be oases in the desert called life have become toxic dumping grounds. We do things without a thought about how it will affect our supposed loved ones and justify our actions on some real or perceived slights. We leave our wounded and hurting out in the cold and embrace others. A lot of us are in relationships yet feel so alone and without support.
Please understand, I am not in any way suggesting that we should stay in toxic relationships, nor am I saying we should give up on our rights and allow ourselves to be trampled upon. No, not at all!!! We deserve to be treated well and respectfully by our loved ones but all this “do me I do you God no go vex”, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” behaviour has to stop. We are rejoicing in removing another person’s tooth and eye not realising that we ourselves are becoming blind and toothless. Bottom line, we hurt ourselves when we fight back with pain.
So what am I advocating???
I am advising that in whatever situation we find ourselves, we do the right thing. Do what we ought to do in the given circumstances without thinking of whether the person deserves it. Doing the right thing is hard especially when we have been treated unfairly and unjustly, but it means not allowing our emotions to rule us, not giving in to our base instincts, looking at the totality of the person and not just specific instances, giving people their due whether or not they deserve it.
A lot of us are very religious but are not humane. We seem not to understand that people are more important than things, possessions and wealth. Some of the things we fight over are so insignificant in the scheme of life and it’s ridiculous how we allow pride and ego to take centre stage in our relationships.
Truth be told, a lot of us fight back because we either think we are being taken for granted, being fooled with or that no one will fight our battles for us. I know a lot about pain and betrayal, I also know a lot about grace and forgiveness.
I have come to the firm belief that I CANNOT BE CHEATED and an understanding of the truth of that statement has liberated me. There are rules of life which govern this universe and which even God does not interfere with and one of the most important is the rule of seedtime and harvest.
This rule of life works whether you are atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or agnostic. You cannot sow apples and reap watermelon, you cannot sow evil and reap good and vice versa. The interesting aspect of this rule is that your harvest is determined as soon as you sow the seeds. The earth naturally brings forth and it does so in multiple folds.
It takes very little to be kind, smile, make a call, give a word of encouragement, forgive. Life is ephemeral and certain things that matter so much today will not matter much tomorrow.
I make bold to say that I really do not have any regrets as to how it turned out between me and Mr Aisi. I did the right thing when it mattered. It didn’t matter whether he would do the same for me, I did all that I did for God who is a just rewarder and my conscience. I can look myself in the mirror with pride and the knowledge that I gave my best and in the long run that’s all that matters.
I welcome you to do same.
Therefore, to him/her who knows to do good and does not do it, to him/her it is sin- James 4:17.