The lessons I learned from Reshu apply every day of my life. I was so certain that she would be in utter despair being almost completely paralyzed from the neck down from her terminal brain cancer. This is quite the opposite for this highly witty, light-hearted, and brilliant 15 year old from North India. I would ask her how she became so happy. Her answer was simple: MAGIC. Reshu would then smile and bobble her head. These moments made me realize that she had not lost her swagger.
I would often be playful with Reshu by testing her intelligence. I had her do things like recite the English alphabet. When she completed A-Z with such effortlessness, I asked her to recite the alphabet backwards. Reshu was able to perform the task perfectly on her second attempt. Try it yourself some time and imagine if English was your second or third language. Unbelievable! I would then ask her how she became so smart. She would smile, bobble her head and say, “MAGIC!”
My experience with Reshu has increased my commitment to life. There is not a day that has gone by that I don’t think of her. Reshu shows me that a person can experience severe trauma, terminal illness, and still keep their smile and swagger. This little girl has taught me that magic can become a reality.