Every day, more often than not, I wake up feeling so blessed that I am given the body that I have now. Blessed to have eyes that can see, blessed to have a nose that can smell, senses to touch, feel and hear. I am so grateful, it has become a question to a few;

“what actually makes you feel so grateful?”

For me, it is more like what I see every day. Being a child to a handicapped father makes me feel my life is too precious to dwell on something so small. Something like, “why do I have chicken legs?”, or “why don’t I have a thigh gap”, “why don’t I have the facial features like Angelina Jolie” or even “why can’t I walk so gracefully like Miranda Kerr?”

If you compare yourself to those you see on in the media or social media, you will never be grateful. Now, if you compare yourself to the less fortunate, or what we here call the ‘special ones’, then you will see what I see.

I grew up just like any other child, but that is what I thought. So, one thing I started to notice now that I am an adult and partially have the right to judge rightly, we, in fact, get treated differently: in a good and also a bad way.

My father doesn’t like travelling. He does travel but not as often. I never understood why, but now, I do. It’s not as simple as ‘just use a wheelchair’ and it will be a breeze. It’s all about the accessibility. Some people won’t understand and will never understand. We, including myself, will never understand the feeling of the people sitting in that wheelchair. Most importantly, people have to know that these people have their own choice and they chose what they want because everyone deserves to have the right to choose.

As he grows old, it became harder for him to move. He fell one day climbing up the stairs to his office. It breaks my heart to even imagine how he might’ve looked like, nobody was even there, he couldn’t lift himself so he had to make a call just so someone could save him. My tears just fell and I felt a punch in my heart. Imagine living your life being dependent on others.

I feel like my dad has always wanted to look…. ‘able’. Able to walk, able to do things a normal father does. Walk me down the aisle, have coffee spontaneously in a cafe, go for a walk in the park, but some things we all just can’t have it all. His physical ability restrains him from doing that. Believe it or not, some people, not all, feel uncomfortable in a wheelchair, if that is what is being suggested. It doesn’t help either when people start looking at you like you are some sort of a show. To be stared at for something that is given by Him. Nobody wants to be treated that way. Imagine having a huge permanent zit in between your eyebrows, people stared at it instead of looking at the overall you, would you feel comfortable living that way your whole entire life?

I think that is one of the major factors to why I am such a huge planning freak. I plan everything for the convenience of others especially my father. I see people’s convenience over mine. It’s a trait my whole family learned to have as we were growing up. Is this place suitable for my father? Is there a rail? Will there be any children that would make fun of my father? Is there enough space for him? Will he be comfortable in the crowd?

This is surely one thing we cannot change. When God gave you this challenge, In Shaa Allah, there is always a blessing in disguise. Be it deeds to people around him that have helped him and encourage him to do his best. We do not need self-pity, he definitely does not need one too. No one wants self-pity. What we want is respect as a human being just trying to make a living in this world. To be treated equally, but maybe slightly better.

I am grateful for all that I get. My father worked so hard to compensate things he can’t give us. He works way too hard to give every single thing I- we, all need. He may not show so much love physically because we are never that family that clings to each other, but he shows it through hard work. He worked so hard to provide us with all this convenience in life.

Living in my shoes makes me realize how some people could be so ungrateful for having something they can change with hard work. It breaks my heart hearing how some people wish to be in a certain way. I do have my moments because I am also only human, but when I come home, it made me realize that I am enough. I am more than enough.

Now, tell me what makes you feel grateful? I am grateful to have been given an eye for all this. Alhamdulillah, it definitely is a beautiful feeling.