Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shelter from the storm

My plans for my blog today was to take a little walk thru tour of my dining room.
However, those plans changed when we stopped at Stockmans on Saturday to pick up goat food.
I picked up a copy of the magazine, "MaryJanes Farm" and found this on the very last page.
I share it with you...

This is written by Rebekah Teal from her column "Here's the thing..."
This is titled, Shelter from the storm
     This column never turns out the way I planned.  I was going to write about those underground storm shelters you see in front yards.  Yet here I am, writing about a different kind of storm and a different kind of shelter altogether.
     It happened when I took a friend for outpatient surgery.  I brought along my laptop to get some work done while I waited.  There I was, minding my own business, when a hospital employee pushed an elderly woman in a wheelchair into the room.  He parked her right beside me.  The woman's white hair was frizzy and wild.  She wore bright orange lipstick.  She was missing a foot.
     I smiled and said "Hello."  She said, "Hello, yourself" and did not smile.  I asked her when she expected her ride to arrive.  "My sorry nephew was supposed to pick me up an hour ago.  He's not worth a dime."  And she went on and on.
     I asked if I could get her something to eat or drink.  "I ate in the cafeteria, and it was awful.   I might as well have thrown my money in the garbage."  And she went on and on.
     Wondering about her missing foot, I asked her if she had diabetes.  She quipped, "No, do you?"  She then told me about her brother in Alabama who has diabetes, "I wouldn't care if the SOB died tomorrow." and she went on and on.
     Her eyes fell on the TV in the corner.  I glanced over as Kathy Lee Gifford interviewed a guest.  "I didn't know Kathy Lee was still on television," I casually commented.  "Lord but I hate that woman," she began.  And she went on and on.
     I decided I'd heard enough.  I told her I needed to make a phone call, and I packed up my computer.  I headed out to the hallway, sat on the floor, and leaned against the wall.  Whew.  Peace at last.  I turned my laptop back on and wrote these words:  "When you're an old lady, don't let hate and negativity consume you."  Then I opened a document and started my column about underground storm shelters.
     And that's when it came to me:  I reckoned I could do with less hating today.  So I turned off my computer, packed my stuff up, and went back inside.  I took my place beside the woman.  I listened as she complained about her bank and her neighbor's dog and the electric company and weather and her health and her doctors and the carpet in the den.  She went on and on until her ride finally arrived.  I smiled and said, "Bye, now."  She looked me in the eye for a moment and said,  "Bye, yourself."  As her nephew wheeled her out, I noticed a dingy teddy bear poking out of her night bag that hung on the back of the wheelchair.  And now I can't get her, or her bear, or our encounter, out of my mind.  I wish I had asked her name.  I wish I had done something other than just sit there.

Here's the thing...Sometimes we're the storm to people around us.  And sometimes we're the shelter.



I will ponder that in my heart.

To find your way to this wonderful magazine -- click on the link below:



Bunny, doll shoes, bear & Raggedy Ann...all compliments of my childhood (smile).


3 comments:

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

Years ago, when my mom was at a nursing home...she sat at a "feeding table" -- the kind with the donut hole in the middle for a CNA to sit and help with feeding. As I was there almost every day at meal time, and they were often short staffed -- I often found myself sitting in that spot. I was told to be careful with one of the ladies at the table -- she was nonverbal -- but a grabber. If she got hold of me, she wouldn't let go. So, I would always leave a healthy safe distance between she & I. Then one day, I wondered, so what would happen if I offered her someone to hold on to -- what harm could it really cause?....so I carefully moved my arm across the table until she found it. She held on - for a long time. We did this each time I visited. I decided, if you come across a grabber - let them grab. Who really knows when she last decided a human touch would be her choice.
Kari

Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing all of this Kari.

Jani said...

Oh my....... I hearby promise to NOT be the storm in someone elses life and try to be the "safe port" for more people.
Jani

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