Her name is Fatima….
& she was born in early 1944….. yeah, that generation. If you don’t know what that means… well then you are probably too young.
I always had a hard time with questions like “Who do you look up to?”. Until I met her.
You couldn’t convince me I was not a woman before that day. Never mind the fact that I was not yet holding titles such a mother or a wife. Even later discovering how that too, did not make me a woman.
I was 23 when I met her, living next door to my sister’s old place. Over the last decade she has watched me grow into a woman and change to those same titles. I have watched her grow into her mid 70’s. Maybe she holds such a sweet place in my heart because I didn’t much grow up with grandparents. Or, the fact that she watched my son to help me while I worked. She raised a village of children in this city alone.
But how? How can she continue to be this for everybody, when she has buried her own children and husbands. I say plural because it’s more than one. The war was cold to us all, but it was freezing for her. She is a survivor, in more way than one. A breast cancer survivor, a victim of war, and a victim of a brutal attack. But no, she’s not a victim. Her spirit and her soul are so radiant. She shines, even with the little mobility she has, she shines. Her rays of positive energy, even when she is cursing at you (she likes to curse) are felt. Her unpredictable tongue will have you in tears and your stomach in pain.
Now I know who I look up to and why.
I look up to her strength, and her unbroken spirit through this thing we all call life. Because it really is “ten percent of what happens to us and ninety percent of how we react to it.”
In today’s world, we must be able to react better. Because as humans we have a responsibility to lead by example for the future generations and for our planet.
Thank you Fatima, for showing me how to be a better woman and in turn a better human. But most of all thank you God for putting people like Fatima to serve as an example to us all.
Love and Respect each other