Watched a documentary on tv last night about Joanne O’Riordan, the mind-blowingly amazing young woman from Cork, who is one of only seven people in the world with total-amelia syndrome. This very rare disorder means that Joanne was born without any limbs. The documentary, made by her brother Stephen, tracked Joanne’s journey from birth to present day (she is now studying criminology in UCC).
Joanne has been rattling around in my head since last night along with a myriad of other emotions. Gave me a good slap up-side the head to see how much this girl has achieved in spite of the major curve ball that life threw at her. I’ll moan about being tired, about not writing enough, about having a bad day but, after seeing this girl in action I realise that I am a complete moron! A total utter, dribbling fool! If you see me out and about today you have my permission to give me a good root up the hole.
I mean, Jesus, I am in full health, my family are in full health, I am in University doing something I love. I can walk, run, jump, dance, train. I can write, cook, clean, swim, hold my children, hug my husband….I can do anything I want, whenever I want. And yet there are days I feel so sorry for myself…because didums has writers block, or poor ickle me is feeling a little sad. The girl I saw last night was positive and alight. She was focused on the future and took everyday in her stride. She spoke to the UN, for God’s sake, and secured funding for Trinity college to make her a robot to help her become more independent!! Yes you heard me, they are making her a robot! Her life has been so tough but the light in her soul, the inspirational heart beating in her chest shone through every minute of her time on the screen. (she’s bloody hilarious too!)
Now I know everything is relative, and just because the hard times we have aren’t nearly half as hard as those that have hit Joanne, it doesn’t make them any less painful to endure. But I just think sometimes we need a reality check. We need to see that no matter how bad things are, there is always someone worse off.
Today I drove my kids to school and I finally finished a chapter in the book that I’ve been struggling with. Today I took my daughter for a hot chocolate after playschool. Today I am alive and well and blessed.
So if you can curve your mouth upwards and smile, then god damn it just do it. Because it could be worse.