“Why did such a thing happen to me? I’ve lost my job, sport, and marriage,” he said.----
This is a quotation from the national caregiver examination held in January. A man wrote his feelings after he became confined to a wheelchair. He played an active part as a soccer player at the university. But after graduation he no sooner got a job than he injured his thoracic spinal cord in a traffic accident. He became paralyzed in his legs.
This is not just a rare case, but the feelings of all the people with disability. Age, sickness and accidents make us unable to move our body freely. We cannot do what we could do up until then. We have to depend on others to take care of us. We have to show ourselves totally different from what we used to be when we were healthy.
“Now I work at a nursing home for elderly people. And I myself am a patient of Parkinsonʼs disease, which is one of the state-specified incurable diseases. There is no way to cure the disease or prevent it from becoming worse. I have to live with this body until I die.”
“Someday I wonʼt be able to move my arms and legs. I will lose my voice. So I would like to take tests on Buddhist doctrines while I can still move my hands. I want to distribute as many flyers of Buddhism seminars and lectures as possible while I can walk. I want to convey Master Shinranʼs teachings while I can speak. I want to listen to Buddhism even though I must depend on someoneʼs help.”
“Why are you so cheerful and strong in spite of your disease?” my colleagues often ask me. I cannot help but to think that Amida Buddha, buddhas of the universe, and the teachers of true Buddhism enable me to stand up and live. I donʼt want to feel regret after I become unable to do these activities. Thereʼs not enough time.
Kaori Tanabe, Aichi prefecture
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #16, What I Want to Tell You Before I Lose My Voice
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