Reminder from Lakshmi

I haven’t read an update on this little girl today, but last night while I was skimming the newspaper, I saw a photograph that stopped me in my tracks, in a manner of speaking. There at the very bottom of the page was a small picture of a 2-year-old child with four arms and four legs, and SHE WAS SMILING. According to the account in The State, she is joined to a parasitic twin who stopped developing in the mother’s womb, and this child, Lakshmi, absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus. Yesterday a team of 30 doctors were to remove the extra limbs and organs. I fervently hope and pray that their efforts were successful.

Back to her smile, I couldn’t help but think of  how often I hear women lament the fact that their legs are too short, too long, too thin, too big, too unshapely, too wrinkly, too whatever. And arms too. Women, especially older ones like moi, can often be overheard complaining about wrinkles and flab. I understand that surgery for loose, unwanted arm skin is available. There’s scarring involved, but at least the unsightly skin is gone, right? And then there’s always liposuction for unwanted cellulite.

 Please don’t interpret the preceding as judgmental. I’m only posting it because the juxtaposition of Lakshmi’s problems next to ours serves as yet another reminder of how ungrateful so many of us are, including yours truly. From this day forward, I’m going to think of how great it is to enfold my loved ones in my arms instead of how “mature” they look


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

6 thoughts on “Reminder from Lakshmi”

  1. It’s so true. And I think it’s true in other facets of life. For instance, someone might be dissatisified with their income because they can’t afford an SUV, they have to keep driving their 96 intrepid. (Just an example. 🙂 Or maybe someone is feeling like that “spark” has been lost in their relationship. I think that it takes an experience like having 4 arms, or going through some sort of difficult trial to help us realize what happiness really is, and what comfort really is. And it’s amazing that, even though someone has four arms and legs, it’s what she knows and she can be happy despite the abnormality.

    Also praying that the surgery will go well.

  2. Always nice to read comments from a future best selling author. I’m sure pulling for you.

    I’m trying to think of the term that psychologists use to describe what you mentioned above. Is it relative deprivation? Like when you feel deprivedwhen you see someeoe with a new SUV and you feel pretty miserable and deprived until you see someone walking along the highway carrying bags of food from the grocery store because she has no car.

    I haven’t read anything about this little girl this week, but last week the news was that she was going to be fine except for some surgery she’d have to have later to correct a club foot.

  3. It’s funny the differences in peoples gratefulness…is that a word?
    My friend went to Africa last spring and I was exasperated by the stories of how they live, the worries we have are not even comprehendible to them.
    I think of this little girl and smile that she can want such simple things that we forget to be grateful for.

  4. I agree. A couple of years ago I stumbled across these awful stories in Oprah magazine about these things that were happening to women and children in parts of Africa, especially Darfur. When I tried to convey the horror of it to my friends, they said the right things like, “Oh, how awful,” but I don’t think they could really comprehend the fact that at very moment women were being raped and killed, sometimes right in front of their children. We’re removed from it somehow, and it seems unreal.

    By the way, I don’t know whether gratefulness is a word or not, but it should be!

  5. lol. I hope that I’m a future author, period.

    relative deprivation. That would be an extremely interesting thing to study. To me at least.

    I think that people feel so removed from one another in the world, that they don’t see the suffering of others as happening to real people. As happening to someone just like them. I know that I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to go through some of the awful things that people in this world go through.

  6. Me too. Somebody famous (but I can’t recall who it was) started a poem with something like, “There but by the grace of God, go I.” And it’s so true! If not for His grace, we could be living truly miserable lives somewhere else on the planet. Or really, right in our own communities, there are lots of unhappy and unfortuante people.

    I feel like I’m really getting on a roll now, but I promise not to go on and on and on. Every single day I see news about the homeless people who live in Columbia (SC) and just what the city plans to do with them. This morning I read an article about Thanksgiving meals being provided for the homeless and lonely. How would it be to have no family to share this holiday with?

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