Once Upon A Time - The Story of My Life

I have almost forgotten to define the word, "independence" after a decade of being confined to my wheelchair. With my seemingly limited mobility, living alone and devoid of any help from other people seemed unimaginable!

I miss those days when I can tread the populated stores of Araneta Center for instance - of unconsciously spending many hours in National Bookstore; captivated with the shelves of books and novels I wished were mine and fascinated with the perfumed stationery, colorful trinkets and gel pens that abounded. I miss walking so slowly along the pavements where Dunkin Donut outlets were situated as I inhaled the aroma of the freshly baked donuts and the newly brewed coffee. Most of all, I long for the moments when I craved for Jolly hotdog, purchased it by myself and leisurely sat amongst the sea of people, enjoying every bite and my aloneness.

The advent of my paralysis, I deem in this age and time, is not that arduous after all. Indeed, I have experienced eating my dinner and brushing my teeth while lying flat on my back, having sponge baths for 12 months, wearing adult diapers for 9 years, the inability to go out without a chaperon and the many bouts of sadness. The transition from an able-bodied to a paralytic was all-together a perplexity, a melancholy and a blessing-in-disguise. The transformation, however, was never hurried. It was a metamorphosis I would marvel at over and over again, allowing myself to explicitly grasp life to its fullest.

2006 is a year of rejoicing. The myriad baby-steps I have had and have courageously mustered have accumulated to great achievements and my reorientation to being independent.

Our good Lord is wonderfully amazing! My partnership with Him has liberated me from the shielded and apprehensive life I once had. It has enabled me to literally live away from home and explore the insurmountable things I can do, achieve and aspire for. All throughout these years, my faith has blossomed into a mustard plant as I learned to lift up to Him all my uncertainties and anxieties. Most importantly, I am no longer afraid to be forever confined in my wheelchair.

People smile at me. I smile back. I am a paraplegic and my name is Farida.

With my nephews and niece

I used to be an able-bodied until my family and I met with a vehicular accident that fractured and dislocated two levels of my spine on December 30, 1996. After I was operated on, my lower limbs became paralyzed and I use the wheelchair full time ever since. I was at the height of my youth when this occurred, about to graduate from college and was enlisting the myriad plans I wanted to do then.

After making myself strong, I went back to school and started working. I would never experience God’s amazing grace if not for my acquired disability. "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)


  1. Hugs...well am happy for you farida that what you are doing now is to inspire people. and that you are now healed inside. i blamed myself for not answering your query right away. CAKES & ALE means all pleasurable things in life. so as we always say, life is not all roses. we must truimph all road bumps ahead and it's not that impossible, nothing is impossible...if we pray a lot. pls...try to click TACK via my blogroll. will be your frequent visitor here from now on. smile!

  2. hello farida! i learned about your blog from mommycool of cakes & ale! i have linked your blog.. take care & God bless!

  3. oh wow! I didn't know that it was you at first when you asked for a link exchange. I miss you! I often check on your old blog. Thanks for connecting again! *HUGS*

    Take care and GOD BLESS as always!

  4. I so enjoyed your writing....Thank you for your honest, fresh site! I'll be back to read more! :)

  5. Very inspiring testimony...I look forward to visiting again!

  6. I love seeing your picture and learning about you life. The best attitude is a good one. I will not let you down. Thank you for sharing you blog. Mary (I'm new to blogging and would like to join you.)

  7. Farida, a bless day to you. I found your site through BC Bloggers and glad to know that God directed me here. God's plan may not understandable to us human but one thing is for sure His ways are different in our ways plus the fact that He knows the plan that He has for us plans to prosper us and not to harm us plans to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

  8. Hope you could connect with other bloggers: both veterans and newbies at Blogger eHOW group.

  9. Farida, what a beautiful testimony! I'm so happy to know you...thank you for visiting my blog, so I can get to know you. You are a beautiful and to be admired young woman. God bless you!

  10. It's been so inspiring to hear words from people that face great physical challenges. The world is tough, even with people with complete mobility, and probably tougher on yours.

    But as we face each challenge every day, words from empowered people like you have been so motivating - that life is good or bad, depending on how you see it. And in your case, I'm glad you've seen it as a blessing. And that radiates - you become a blessing to everyone else.

    I was inspired, really. I'll be following you from now on.

    God really bless us, sometimes, it's just a matter of subjective sight.

    God Bless

  11. Farida, your a brave woman, Im happy you overcome depression.
    I also have a friend, the doctor had to cut her two legs and some of her fingers because of a rare disease. She also overcome her depression, by studying the Bible, :) and for having hope that in the near future, all disabilities will be gone.

    It's so good to know you sister. Followed you. <3

    stay strong, continue to inspire people.

    im also inlove with sunflowers, thats why "sunflowers and seashells" were the motif of my wedding, and my blog headboard have a cutout of it.
    They say sunflowers are bitter in taste and is wild. And i think, both of us are sunflowers too, we are bitter in a sense that we are strong and we are wild because we are not afraid to rise up again after we fall.


    1. hi sis! i nominated you here http://elinessete.blogspot.com/2012/07/liebster-blog-award.html
      check it out! :D

  12. I thought I'd try to get to know more about the person behind the sunflower. I think you're not just in love with sunflower...you are one, somehow. I know it was quite an ordeal you had but like that flower who always follows the sun, you have found the Source of light that never goes out. And it is no wonder that you can always smile as brightly as that flower. I admire your courage and feel blessed by your story. :-)

  13. You are not only a sunflower, for some readers you are the sun. Your life is very inspiring and your positiveness shines bright. I would like to add you to my links. :-)

  14. Wow, Farida! Your life is inspiration in action! I am glad to have met you through this blog... makes me think and rethink of our own life and how we should appreciate this... and how we should inspire others to do the same!

  15. Hi Ms. Flarida :) You are so beautiful. The first time I saw your picture made me smile, you are indeed like a sunflower. Your life is a source of inspiration and a reason to be thankful for life's gifts and God's blessings.

  16. Wow Farida, I had no idea. I am glad you led us to your story. Keep on Keeping on :)

  17. Dear Farida ~ Your story, your faith are an inspiration.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

  18. You inspire me. Thanks for sharing your story and how God has made what is impossible possible and what is negative positive.

    You sure did find good in what is now. I like the way you deal with life. It is so great to have Him all the way whatever.

    I too am a survivor of a stroke which paralyzed me for a while. After a month and a half of rehab I was able to work again and walk again. But during those times when I could not even bath myself (something that is so unacceptable for one who is a workaholic), I learned to appreciate the minstrations of loved ones and to obey the Lord about taking time off.

    Anyway, I may be older than you, I am running towards senior level fast but I feel kindred and I am glad we met.

  19. I got goosebumps reading this Ms. Farida. I love how you write talaga and most especially your positive outlook about life. Sometimes, God needs to take everything away from us to start a brand new life, a new you. You are a strong woman who I will always admire and remember when my faith is getting weaker.

    Mommy Maye

  20. Farida, you are the INSPIRATION!!! I am soooo happy to have met you ...even if through your writings which exudes positivity and enthusiasm! ... If we didn't read about your plight, we wouldn't have felt that you also underwent a very low part of your life. Zamboanga City is now at our lowest, with Day 13 of the Zamboanga Crisis (armed conflict). I should look at the Zamboanga situation as a passing phase (though hard to even see the end of it at this time!) ... and be part of helping Zamboanga rise again!


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