The day I landed in Saint Louis, I asked, “why me”? It was a childish question that I’ve always asked, but as time passed, it became more serious. My parents believed in different forms of Islam, and of course, they both thought that they were correct, which always gave them unnecessary reasons to fight. While Mummy said to pray with my hands raised, Daddy rolled his eyes, said something mean that I didn’t understand, and yelled at her for being illiterate about her own religion. As things got worse, I started realizing that I was the only kid who had to see her mother suffer with severe Asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis. When she would suddenly become breathless, my father would simply look at me and say that it was all in her head and she just wanted attention. It was depressing. While she suffered all year long, I had a health problem of my own. A cyst constantly draining pus and blood had developed by my ear, and when we managed to get an appointment with the doctor after three months, he said that it would turn into cancer if it was not removed soon. There was no way we could afford a ten thousand dollar surgery. I questioned God about why He chose only me to suffer.
My opinion was changed when we visited my cousins in Texas. Although they seemed like a perfect family, in reality those children had harsher problems at a younger age than me. My aunt suffered from bipolar disorder, and her girls were only six and seven years old. She was prescribed medicine, but she always argued that she was normal. Once, I saw her running towards my uncle with a sharp kitchen knife. We were there. We were all there. We were all there, thinking different things, and scared out of our minds. I wanted to leave the house as soon as possible, but then I saw those innocent crying souls. Where would they go? They loved their mother. I thought about what they must have gone through, seeing their mother being taken to the mental hospital. Holding them in my arms, trying to make up something to calm them down, I realized that I was surely not the only one with problems. I believe that I had to see others who were less fortunate than me to realize that God has blessed me with a stable family. I had parents who I could at least run to if I had a nightmare unlike my little cousins who had to fill their eyes with tears every time they thought about their mother. I believe that I had to take a step back and put myself in their shoes to realize that I wasn’t the only one. I figured out that I was so involved in trying to make my life better, that if only I had seen this before, I would’ve never asked “why me”.
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