They say happiness is a choice, not a chance. To be happy and feel the warmth of joy, you must be the principal character for that. However, sometimes it is very hard to choose or to walk away from mental breakdowns. Josephine Uwamaliya is 57-year old businesswoman and mother of five living in Kigali.
In her mid-forties, she suffered grief and ongoing loneliness. Loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. Her story starts when her husband got jailed.
“I was a housewife, my job was caring for the children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs for everyday life; housekeeping, cleaning, and maintaining the home. My husband was the head of the family, and it was his duty to run the family’s business. We owned a shop in Kicukiro market.”
“My life’s chapter changed when my husband got jailed for five years. The first thing that I did was to run to friends and family. I guess I was too dumb at that time. I asked for help from our family friends, and I got nothing. Meanwhile, my children were depressed and my firstborn started taking drugs. As a mother whose job was to take care of the home and the children, I was confused, depressed, and lonely. So, I started to stay in my room day and night, grieving.”
Life is a beautiful journey that is meant to be embraced to the fullest every day. However, that doesn’t mean you always wake up ready to seize the day, and sometimes you need a reminder that life is a special gift. Josephine realized this and took the decision that staying in bed day and night wouldn’t solve any of her problems: “I have collected my scattered parts.”
“We were hungry, and my children were suffering, too. As their mother, I had to take responsibility to make life possible. I choose to live, and I appreciate my decision every single day.”
“The first step was to accept the problem. I accepted that my husband is in prison and that he won’t be coming back until the sentence is over. The cure was acceptance and patience. I realized that I wasn’t going to depend on someone if I wasn’t reliable myself. Then I started to work. I embraced all the working challenges; I accepted all the changes, and I became the best version of myself. We can do incredible things, only if we have the will.”
Today, Josephine is still growing her business. She supported her family and helped the children to end their studies. Along the way, she made friends and she is happy with her life.
Author: Adeline Imanirakiza, mHub Rwanda, 2021-08-30