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Back on my Feet!

Thursday February 02 2012    |     Views: 3356    |     Comments: 0   |     Print    Bookmark and Share

Julie Odia
Julie Odia

I woke up this morning feeling frustrated about some of the issues I’m dealing with especially not making it to the New York fashion week. My mood took a down turn and nothing would cheer me up. And to further complicate matters I received a call from my friend Uche followed quickly by another from my Mama, informing me of the fuel scarcity. On arriving the filling station, the queue was very unfriendly.

Just when I was about to open my mouth to complain and murmur about everything, I saw a woman that reminded me of something that happened years ago. It was winter and on that particular day the ground as nearly frozen. I had gone shopping with my big sister and I was particularly excited about the shoes I got. We decided to stop by a fruits market near her house to get some fruits and there she was, sitting on a pile of only God knows what, dressed shabbily and looking like she hadn’t had a bath in years with her hands hugging her body tightly and without shoes. I would have cared less, maybe pity and gave her some little change like I did sometimes but not this time, not with this lady.
My sister thought I had gone mad when I approached her, “Hello, are you alright?”
She responded, “Oh I will be alright.”
So I said, “It’s freezing out here. Don’t you want to go home?”
She answered, “I don’t only need a home. I need some shoes. Thanks for asking.”
Tears filled the wells of my eyes. I have lost count of the number of shoes I have and here is
a woman with her feet planted to a frozen ground. Not once during our short conversation
did she raise her head to look me in the face. I couldn’t get my eyes off her feet that were
without shoes.
My sister grabbed me by the hand and we walked back to the car without getting the fruits
and just before she moved she said, “God for every time we complain and murmur, please
forgive us” and without saying another word she drove us home. We put in a bag, sneakers,
boots, socks, scarves and gloves and a bowl of hot food and took them back to her.
I took out one of the shoes in front of her and that was when I saw her face. She was pretty
before she got here on the streets. As she put the shoes on she started crying, praising
God, praising God, saying “I’m back on my feet again! I’m back on my feet again!” She
couldn’t move easily at first, and then she began to turn around still thanking God. I
couldn’t stop the tears in my eyes from flowing freely by now and I never forgot those
words, “I’m back on my feet again.” We decided then to get our fruits and some for her, but
by the time we returned, she was gone, that quickly. I looked out for her before I returned
to Nigeria but she never showed up.
It has been years now but I still think about her from time to time. I don’t know her story
and how she ended on the streets but I pray she is safe and happy where ever she is. I said
all that to say this: whenever I am about to complain about anything, I remember the different
times I came back on my feet again and I am thankful to God. So when I say I thank
God for you all, I really mean it.
I shared this with you to ask you this: Have you taken out time to look around you and
show love and concern? Maybe this is the perfect season to begin; the valentine season.
Don’t be one of those who claim it’s a day for lovers only. You never know who you will be
helping get back on their feet, costing you only your smile.

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