Monday, June 15, 2009

DAY 380 - Day 283 in Recovery Paradise

I encountered an old guy in a wheelchair on the street the other day. Lise and Sarah and I were leaving her ballet studio and walking back to our car. Coming toward us was this man in a wheelchair. Disheveled, dressed poorly, and obviously handicapped, he was weaving back and forth trying to get the attention of everyone that was on the same side of the street as he. We thought he might be panhandling. Sarah stepped out of his way and walked behind Lise. He was obviously trying to say something to them. I stepped up to him and said "Can I help you?". A look of thankfulness came across his face, and he said "Yes, thank you. Can you please, please pull my socks up? I can't do it."

He wasn't crazy or a menace. He wasn't panhandling. His old raggedly socks had fallen down his swollen ankles, and all he wanted was for someone to help him pull them up. After I pulled up the socks, he said "Thank you" and rolled away. I am sure I was gone from his thoughts. I, however, couldn't let go of the moment. I had my emotions changed in an instant--from distancing aversion to abject sympathy.

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. ~Ancient Persian Saying

At 61+, I am definitely on the backside of my turn on earth, losing my hair, legally blind with 20/1250 corrected lenses in my tri-focals, have a heart condition I have to take meds for every day to keep it beating regularly, have glaucoma and take drops every day to keep from going totally blind, and on the mend from almost a year off including radiation and chemo treatments for tonsil cancer....and I am still 1000 percent better off than this guy. God forbid that I should even take a nanosecond to ever lament my situation after meeting a man that would trade with me in a heartbeat.

I have often commented on how faabulous my life has been, and in many ways it is even better now that I have refocused on my extra turn as a cancer survivor. I am happy every day...just to be here. Every day is Another Day in Paradise. I know people that are in the prime of their life, excellent health, making far more money than I will ever see...and are obviously very unhappy. This one executive I know just returned from a two-week vacation in Hawaii. I popped my head into his office and asked how his vacation was and without even looking up, he scowled and said, "I don't want to talk about my vacation." He never looked up at me or asked how I was doing... just kept on working at his computer and nothing more was said. It was a bit awkward, so I just turned and left. I thought to myself how fortunate I was and how obviously miserable he was.

I am even more thankful for my life today. I can pull up my own socks.