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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
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Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @ANativeOutlaw
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
“Just because you know my name, doesn’t mean you know me. Just because I smile, doesn’t mean I’m happy”
I’m not sharing this story to gain anybody’s pity but I’m sharing this to have you know that everyone has shit they are dealing with. People are so quick to judge, make lousy comments or try to steal someone’s happiness away… Everyone is DIFFERENT. Everyone has a story. This is a bit of mine.
I still remember how Japari and I were in my room talking about our plans for graduation. It was in exactly 7 days and we were too excited. This was on the 22nd of June.
In the midst of our chatter, I heard my brother shout from his room, so I ran to him to make sure he was okay. Then I saw his tear- Filled eyes…
“It’s your mum”, my step- mom told me.
I stopped breathing. I walked away slowly. My tears couldn’t wait for me to get to my room. I wept. Japari simply held me.
My brother came and told me she wasn’t dead (I paused) but that he had received a message that she was dying. I stopped crying. That meant hope. That meant I could pray and God will work wonders and my mum would be just fine. I prayed. Everything was going to be fine.
We arrived America on the 25th of June. My brother and I drove straight to the hospital. We were briefed on her condition. I just wanted to see her, I didn’t care what was wrong at the time. But then, we walked into her ward and I BROKE. My own mother was on life support. Pipes down her throat, plugs in and out of her. I really can’t explain. I haven’t seen this woman in seven years and this is the condition I meet her? The doctors said she won’t make it. I said she would. They advised we give her ‘comfort care’ ( removing the life support and allow nature take it’s course) I cussed them out and told them to do everything they could. My mother was going to live. She had to. I prayed.
26th of June, we went to the hospital to see her, I broke again. It hurt me every time I saw her like that. She looked uncomfortable. She would occasionally cough. Shake her head. Make sounds to let us know she was uncomfortable. I would hold her hand and tears will fall from her eyes. She couldn’t see me but I’m sure she could hear me. She could feel my touch. I prayed with her. Then she would cough, shake her head and moan in pain. I cried.
My brother started thinking the ‘comfort care’ was the best option. His mother looked miserable. I agreed. She wouldn’t want this. But then I couldn’t just let her go. I sat and watched her for the day. It only got worse. And then I knew, I had to put all my trust in God. I agreed to the comfort care. I prayed hard and hoped for the best.
The next morning, she was gone.
My mother was gone and she was never coming back. I questioned God. Everything I was taught about faith was compromised. My mother was gone. GONE. I could have waited. I never should have opted for comfort care. She would still be alive. Maybe. Or maybe that was the will of God. I may never know. I live with these thoughts every single day.
I cried myself to sleep for days straight. I tried everything I could to help me get over it; to help me stop crying. Nothing worked.
I still cry because I’m broken.
I still cry because I miss her.
I still cry because I’m human.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XVI’ by an Anonymous writer
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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