Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quick check out by a shaking hand-

Written on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 9:12am

Normal afternoon- normal thoughts of nothing and everything. Up the escalator to grab my usual spinach, carrots, and anything else that may promote health. Wasn't thinking about suffering, perseverance, or unusual strength by others just to make it through the day but then I saw him. A man; slight of frame with peppered gray hair. His body, in the shape of an S. His spine and legs not cooperating with gravity in the least. He stood next to me selecting his veggies and then he moved. It was awkward and labored. His feet dragged and threw him off balance.

My immediate reaction was to pray for this guy. Sometimes you don't know why but it just feels right. I know how difficult life can be at a purely physical level with a healthy body, never mind the challenge of your mind and muscle not working in one accord each and every day.

As my eyes left him, I took two more steps and right in front of me stood a young girl; all of 25. She stood over the bananas, her eyes and hands searching for the ones with the least bruising or so it seemed. Her face was calm. She had the green basket hung on her right forearm. This was the prime of her life or was it? My eyes moved to her uncovered head. Her blond hair was thin and missing in patches . . . a sure sign of chemotherapy. You don't often see that as many people who are losing their hair often cover it with a scarf or hat. She must be proud of her struggle I thought. Unwilling to let it change the way she dresses in public. So my prayers moved from him to her as I know, without a doubt, she is hurting. Whether she is owning her disease or it is owning her, the pain remains the same during the process.

My heart was heavy for these people. Didn't expect this to be part of my normal routine. Didn't expect to be reminded that my health is a gift.

Moving on past her, I made my way to the bread isle and grabbed some bagels. Not wanting to wait in line at the normal registers, I hurried to the Starbucks in the corner of the store. I could see from a distance that no one was checking out there. As I approached, I noticed that the man behind the register was thin. His shoulders hung. His fingers were long. They didn't know heavy labor. Behind his wire framed glasses were kind eyes. "Good evening sir!", he said. There was a waiver to his voice. As he grabbed my items, I could see that there was no strength in his hands. They shook. If he was an older man I would have expected this but he couldn't have been more than 45 years of age. Again, a disease had come between mind and body.

A lump formed in my throat. Less because these people were in obvious pain but more so because they are the forgotten; the unseen. Maybe not for you but for me. I am more aware of my own struggles, as small as they are, than those around me the majority of the time. Instead of my eyes being open to the hurting, I want to go to the grocery store and get in and out as fast as I can. Head down, food in hand.

I am sorry sir. I am sorry miss. You remain in my thoughts and prayers today . . . like yesterday and the day before.

No comments:

Post a Comment