Climbed into bed last night and saw husband fast asleep with TV on. Against my better judgement I took control of the remote and starting to channel surf. I froze at the sight of appalling images of a tree man’s limbs. For the next hour I watched the shocking life story of Dede, an Indonesian man living in West Java unfold on Discovery Channel.
Dede has a rare disease that left his body covered in thick, bark like warts. He looks like a walking tree. Doctors operated on him to remove the warts but the root of the problem was not resolved. The warts continued to grow.
Dede cannot use his hands like we do cos they are covered in thick calluses; his feet are so huge he can’t wear proper footwear. The warts took over his body and he is a ghastly sight. His face, private parts, arms, thighs are all fertile ground for the warts. His wife took their children and divorced him.
Daily routine chores such as taking a bath, taking a walk, holding a drink in a cup, etc all elude him; his brother-in-law willingly serves as his personal nurse and constant companion. He would wash him, be his hands and feet, be his friend.
At the end of the hour, I was left feeling very heavy hearted. When asked what he would most like for himself, Dede said he wants to be healthy again, to work in the fields in his own plot of land, to love and be loved again, to get married again. He just wants to be normal.
Most of us are oblivious to the normalcy of our lives. The use of our hands. The ability to move undeterred by physical impairment. The pleasure of spending time with loved ones, to experience and give love. The ability to smile knowing that life is normal.
I got present to the normalcy of my life and more. I am grateful for the way my life is and the way it isn’t. Life is perfect, exactly the way it is. I do not need more as God has given me everything I need to live this life and make it count.