Monday, July 02, 2007

A Brother's Arm

Most people would say that I have bad luck. But I choose not to look at my circumstances that way. I see them as challenges, obstacles to overcome, unfamiliar territory that God must have thought I needed to discover and conquer. I trust that all of my life experiences, the good ones and the ones that didn’t feel so good, were God’s way of teaching me something I needed to know.

My last semester in college, God must have been trying to put me in a crash course of some wild, highly complicated science of surviving a crises. Here I was, trying to get out of college as soon as possible. I was taking twenty hours, and all of my teachers acted as if they had all teamed up and decided that each of them were going to shove as much work on me as possible. But I was up for the challenge. I had already endured four tough years at University of North Texas. Why were the years so tough? Well, being totally blind probably had a little to do with it. But I didn’t let that stop me. I had one more semester before I would be walking across the stage to receive my bachelors degree.

Everything was going smoothly, that is, until I slipped off the side of a sidewalk and cracked the bone in my ankle. When I heard the bone that helped my left leg balance on my left foot snap, I panicked. I knew that this broken bone was going to possibly throw a monkey wrench in my goal to graduate. I thought to myself, “How in God’s name will I use a cane for the blind and use crutches to get to class?? This was absolutely great. I was already blind. Now here I was, in the middle of the semester, blind and crippled. I started to ponder the possibility of not graduating. I guess this would be yet another time that people would probably say that my buddy, bad luck, had thrown me another party. But I was determined to vacuum up the confetti and pop all of the balloons. I was going to crash this party. I was going to graduate on time.

One of my brothers on campus… Well, he’s not my birth brother. But that’s how I referred to Dhati. He was one of the few men in my life that I felt close enough, trusted, enough, fought enough, forgave enough, and loved enough to call my brother. He did what any good brother would do. This strong, chocolate college football star offered to give me what I never expected him or anyone for that matter to give. He offered to help me get to all of my classes until I got strong enough to walk on my own. He knew that it would be hard for me to hold a white cane in front of me and grip crutches with each of my hands. I would have to grow another arm to do that. But now I did have another arm, my brother’s arm.

Every day, Dhati would knock at my door with his strong fist and tell me to hurry. Even though he seemed to be a little impatient, I didn’t mind. He was doing more than I could thank him for doing. He helped me get to class, so that I could walk to the stage that I longed to cross, the stage that I did cross. I graduated on time, just as I hoped to do.

Dhati reached out his hand and offered his arm to help hold up his sister, just as a brother should do. I knew in my heart that this man would be my brother for life. I can still fill his arm of love holding me up and helping me get to my various stages of success.


It’s been years since you and I have talked. But I never forget about what you gave to me. Thank you for helping me cross one of the most important stages in my life. I don’t take it for granted.


Angela Braden**

1 comment:

Forgiven said...

Thank you, Angela

I have found that sometimes the things that happen in my life are not about me, they are for the people that are there with me. Remember when they asked Jesus about the blind man, who had sinned, him or his parents and Jesus said neither. The man was blind not for himself or his parents but for the glory of God. You continue to shine with the glory of God.

I wish more people could understand that not everyone that God puts into my life is for me to sleep with. As humans when we think we love someone, the first thing we want to do is sleep with them, it's understandable. The truth be told many people feel that all they have to offer is that. Many times in my life I mistook why God put people in my life, especially the opposite sex. I thought it was to give them the "dinky" when in many cases it was to be that strong arm that you speak of. Once you have sex with a person everything changes and you can never go back. You can never unring that bell. I look back and wonder how many people's lives I could have affected for positive change, if I had just kept the "dinky" in my pants and extended that strong arm.

God Bless you.