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Breaking the wall within the family

Photo of my family

My wife is illiterate and looks innocent but sometimes she can really think out of the box and tiptoe far into the future. Realizing how disability can create barriers even within the family, she always tries to keep our children closer with me with the hope that they would grow up learning to accept me as their disabled father. Ever since my eldest son and my adopted daughter were 6 or 7 years old, she would let them guide me whenever we went out into the town or other places and every time I refused to walk with them not being able to trust them, she would always warn me they would hesitate to walk with me when they grow up if we don’t let them do it right now. Yes, after all, she was right. I realized that we should never let such a wall form between me and my kids right from the beginning. Hence, I always started walking with my kids whenever I went out and today, my eldest son always comes to my office after his school hours to fetch me home. As of now, both my adopted daughter and eldest son do not seem to hesitate to walk with me and this is what my wife wants to see in all the times to come.

I know it’s often difficult for children to fully accept their disabled parents mainly due to the perceived stigma attached to the issue of disability. In the neighborhood or at school, they don’t want to be called the child of a disabled father or disabled mother and seen different and odd from the rest of the people. In a bid to tune themselves up to the perceived social expectations of their friends, there is a chance that they might not even reveal the true identity of their parents to their friends. When one of my sisters-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and had to be amputated, it seems her teenage son had reportedly said to his friends that he was ashamed to see his one-legged mother and that he wished if he didn’t have to go back home. Although he was too young to be able to think rationally, it was the most painful moment for his mother to process those words during the final few months of her life. She died an agonizing death in 2012.

Likewise, there can be many cases in which disability has created walls between the children and their parents and within the family circle. But my wife does not want any barrier between me and my kids as a result of my disability. She often tells them how hard I work every day to feed them and that they should always help me. I think she wants them to realize that I am also an equally important member of the family and would continue to be so. We don’t want to create any vacuum in our relationship with our kids. We don’t want to leave them at a distance from where they can look at me as a disabled father. In fact, we want them to feel proud to be identified as the children of a blind father wherever they go. So we are trying our best to engage and interact with our kids as much as we can so that we can grow together as a harmonious family. Today, all my kids know I am blind and that I can’t see. So they often help me get my things or guide me to new locations whenever necessary. They often ask me various questions about my disability: how and when I lost my sight, or the like. A couple of days while walking with my 10-year-old son to a shop, I was very much touched when he asked me if I ever wish to see his face and that of his younger brother and sister. I didn’t have any convincing answer for him but that really made me reflect on his innocence and the painful reality behind his curiosity. I am sure he has been able to get into my shoes and look at the world from my perspective. I am hopeful that my children would continue to look at me with love and respect as they grow up into adulthood. It would be the most painful and disheartening thing for me and my wife in life if my disability ever becomes the dividing line between us and our children in the future. But we are optimistic that such a thing would never happen to us.


12 thoughts on “Breaking the wall within the family

  1. Sir beautifully written la…and you are lucky that you have a caring family. Wishes ahead and looking forward to read more


  2. This is a beautiful family photo! You looked handsome and macho with your sunglasses. I love the way you shared your feelings and story here about your kids. I understand that many kids are sometimes ashamed of their family members with special needs while many actually don’t at all. They would be truly sympathetic and very understanding enough to help out, just like your beautiful children. Your lovely wife had really played her role very well as a mother and wife to bring everyone together, with lots of love! If I ever visit Bhutan, I must meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Amrith, You have such a wonderful blog here and you write so well! I just stumbled on it and enjoyed reading some of your stories. This post is such a beautiful tribute to your lovely wife, her empathy and her understanding. Even if she is unlettered, I think she carries with her a lot of wisdom and knowledge and she is the right companion for you and you are so proud of her! You are lucky indeed to have found each other. I was totally moved by her concern for you, taking into account your disability, and her desire to see that your children too journey hand in hand with you in life, learn all life’s lessons and give you the respect that you deserve. Wish you many blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Sir, Please convey my gratitude to your wife! So thoughtful of her to have said that. I used to see you walking to office & home everyday either with your daughter or son before but since i shifted my workplace i do not see you. If i ever see you again i shall stop and talk to you. You are great inspiration to many!
    Stay Blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

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