A friend recently posted and asked what do you find hard to say? For me it was the words “I love you.” I have lived with love and lived without love and on any given day of the week I will always choose to live with love. I envy my generation. These words are uttered so frequently and with ease. They are said so freely and without baggage but to me those three little words are binding. When I say them to someone I am also saying I will look out for you, I will treat you as I too would like to be treated, when you hurt me I will forgive you. I will always look to call out the best in you. These words have been modelled to me so well but saying them with the wealth they hold is not always easy.
From the ages 3 to 6 at least as far back as I can remember that stage of my life, I lived with love. I lived with the security of mom and dad knowing I was loved. I was not the cutest nor the easiest child, but I was safe in the knowledge that I was loved by my mom and dad and nothing could ever change that. I lost my dad at age of 3. I have memories of the funeral and one memory of him carrying me whilst the house was flooding with water. I lost my mom at age of 6. This I saw coming and dreaded the day. I knew she was very sick and unwell so for me it was a matter of time. I prayed every day that God would add a day to her life, but I still lost her. Before I could even process that the last link to what I knew as parental love was gone, my foundation was quickly shaken and splintered when I was split from my sisters. The people who knew and understood the kind of love we had all experienced. I was then moved around households that held no love for me. Looking back as an adult, seeing that child breaks my heart because that child had no hope of ever experiencing parental love ever again. I was no longer surprised by the cruelty of humans. As a 6-year-old it’s the biggest shock. When you have been so loved, lavished and showered in such love for it to be all so brutally taken away makes you wonder and ask why me and why now?
As with all futures you never know that the best is yet to come. If you can just hold on for a little longer, not lose hope and know that Good is right around the corner. A young woman only 28yrs old and single chose to adopt me. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy and she’d have to do it as a single parent but nothing was to stand in her way of her plan not even the young tall dark and handsome gentleman who would be my dad was going to deter her from her plan. And because she didn’t give up when it got hard, didn’t compromise her plan for her own happiness, did not stop fighting I have the gift of Mama and Papa. To this day, I am showered in their love and undoubtedly know I am loved by them.
It took one young woman with a vision to adopt me. She chose me, picked me and loved me. Then she introduced the love of a Father into my life. Then she mended my family when she united me with my sisters. Her brave decision rewrote my future. She took me out of the pain, the hurt, the hate, the abuse, the hunger and replaced them with one gift, Love. She took the hand of a young nine year old in the dusty streets of Kampala as I talked her ear off about the best movie I had just seen (The Matrix) to which she listened so attentively and so engaged that she said, “I am going to be your new mother, I can’t wait for you to meet you dad he’s so tall and so kind hearted.” This is a precious memory for me because it is not until I am 14 years of age that I realise my Mama has no patience for sci-fi or fantasy films. She will sleep through them time and time again but on that day as we walked and talked, she listened to a nine year old pour her heart out about her interests, her likes and dislikes and her hope for a future. She listened and loved me. She reminded the 9-year-old what the 6-year-old girl had forgotten and given up on.
One young woman with her own trauma and pain chose to change the life of one young girl. This young girl turned woman is far from perfect but she now dreams big. She won’t let her voice be silenced. When she falls, she dusts herself off, gets up and tries again. She believes and looks for the best in people. The words that leave her tongue are those that build and encourage. She forgives. To say “I love you” is a work in progress but the win is I can say them and when I do, my hope is that I make this world a better place for that person just like my parents have continuously done for me. Their legacy in helping the one is Love.
I worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital and currently work as Bank staff there. In my role as a healthcare assistant I care and look after sick children. Every day is different and never the same but the struggles these children face with their health remains. If I can make one child forget about the pain of chemotherapy by showing them the love that I have been privileged to experience then it becomes imperative that we all recognise the power of helping the one and the lives we change when we look after, embrace and love the One. Making that child smile and allowing them to forget their reality for a time is only possible because someone did it for me. Someone loved me, cared for me, embraced me so that I could do the same for someone else.
My Mama and Papa changed the world for me. They gifted me with siblings and more family than I could ever imagine. They encouraged me to dream of a future. They provided me with the tools as best as they could to navigate this world and to leave it better than I found it. They healed the broken heart of a young girl, putting the pieces back together and gluing them with faith, patience and kindness making it whole again in turn allowing her to love those around her. Teaching her the greatest lesson of all, love will always heal where hate and pain have traversed.
This months blogger – My name is Dorcas Daniella Mirembe-Korsah. I studied Biomedical Science for my degree, which I enjoyed immensely. I took a year out after graduation where I attended Mpower school of leadership. I did this for me. Before you can ever learn to lead, you must first learn to lead yourself. During this time we had different people come to speak at our schools and at the end of the year we went to Cherish Uganda, a charity in Uganda that looks to change the story of children living with HIV. Since then, I have worked as a healthcare assistant both with adults and children most currently at Great Ormond Street.