12/15/14

transformations and triumph

I have been thinking a lot about Malala Yousafzai. Not her book or her recent Nobel peace prize, but this story:
Malala visited the current art exhibit in Oslo highlighting the new Peace Prize winners. The clothes she was wearing when she was shot in the head by the Taliban were in a display case, and when she saw it, she wept. Malala Yousafzai is one incredibly composed young woman, so the fact that this brought her to tears is deeply moving.
First I imagine it must be an out-of-body experience to see the clothes you were wearing on the most traumatic day of your life in a museum display. It must have brought to mind all she has endured, how her life has transformed, all she lost and all she has to gain. She also likely remembered her recovery, her many hours in a hospital bed,  physical therapy, medications, and leaving her childhood home forever.

We are coming up on the first anniversary of Eloise's esophageal repair, and all that went haywire after that. The infection that almost took her life on Christmas Day. It all feels so fresh, and with this recent surgery and hospital stay at Primary Children's Medical Center, I had my own out-of-body experiences when I felt like maybe Eloise and I had never left the hospital - maybe everything else was a dream!

But of course so much has happened since then. Eloise and I have both undergone some major transformations. So much has changed for us, and our entire family, and not all of it has been positive change. There have been some dark, painful chapters.

Eloise has spent more time in the hospital than Malala Yousafzai, who took a bullet to the head. I want to know how she transformed the darkest chapters in her life, and turned it into a powerhouse for girls' education. How did she embrace society, and not shrink from it? I'm sure there is a part of her that wishes none of it had happened, that she was still that young girl in Pakistan. But so much good has come from her since then, and I want to know where she found that energy.

How did she turn trauma into triumph?

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