Sometimes we just need to take a stroll

I met a lady the other day, and instantly connected with her. She became my motivation in a matter of minutes. Motivated, yes, but her story also sent a bucket of shivers down my spine. I still can’t get over the chills from the story she shared with me in the twenty minutes that I spent with her. I am still teary just thinking about it.
So, how it all began: I was waiting, not so patiently at a dealership, whilst reading Ricardo van Rooi’s 7 Steps© on Kindle. Eventually, I got up to take a walk down the block, passing about four shops, and then I noticed an antique shop ahead. I decided to go in to check if they possibly stocked typewriters. I’ve been looking for a specific model since my father’s one grew legs and took a stroll down the road many moons ago.
Just a few steps into the shop, a sweet voice greeted me and asked if she could be of any assistance. In response, I told her that I was just browsing. Looking at her, she could be in her mid to late 70’s. “Scanning” her again, I could tell that she used to turn heads in her younger days, a classy, well polished dame in her own right.
So I asked if they could possibly have or stock type writers. From there we continued chatting about her work. She showed me some of the unique pieces of jewelry she designs, and sold at the shop. As she was talking, she paused, struggling to re-
member one of the items she uses for her creations, and immediately apologized.
I could read the frustration on her face. She frowned, and then told me that since her last “experience” she’s been “forgetful”. Well, I sympathized with her and she started telling me, a total stranger, about her life. It was disheartening, enraging a story to hear, to listen to the ordeals she went through.
This is a woman who became a punching bag everyday for seven years of her marriage, for a man who was supposed to protect her. One of those punches missed their toddler by an inch and landed on her, dislocating her shoulder. This is a woman living with over 12 different types of screws in her
body; from her face to her toes. In one of her ordeals, she “was technically declared dead” and only got stitched up when the doctor saw that she “was still breathing the following day”.
In the twenty minutes that we spent together in her shop, I felt like I was sent in there for inspiration. We connected, but Lord knows I needed it. As much as I was heart broken by her story, I went out of that shop motivated.
I lived in pain for almost three decades, knowing only pain. There was a time when I convinced myself that pain was my joy. I also saw first hand women battered by their own spouses, robbed by their true love, treated like manure by those who had vowed to honour them.
I’ve seen women who were locked out of their own homes because their husband’s were simply in a mood. Luckily with one of my experiences, I had the keys to the gate, but couldn’t unlock the doors into my house ecause another set blocked me from inside. We buried friends, colleagues and neighbours murdered by their own partners, and some like my new friend crippled for life in the name of “inkomo zami”- “my dowry”, in the name of “ngimthanda KABI umfazi wam”.
My conversation with this sweet lady reminded me of how history and society positioned us [women] for sadness. However, I appreciate the strength that we muster to survive and reposition ourselves. Although still a major challenge, but hopefully with the various support structures we’ll eventually realize the desired transformation.
I gave up on my own life, devised means to stop my own breathing, giving in to pain.
This woman is living with her pain. She is living in her pain, and she became stronger from her pain.
She told me that she is in CONSTANT pain. I am in constant pain, but the difference is the way she HANDLES her pain and how she DEALS with it. My motivation, an inspiration, this
woman, an accountant by trade, cuddles the conviction that one day…it’ll all end. But it’s up to me to find a way to deal with my pain; to be strong, to seek help, to be

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