A couple days ago I visited with a friend who is in rehab/nursing home in Massachusetts. This friend, it seems, has been in rehab this year more than home. Obvious health issues, he had a stroke a few years ago and is severely debilitated on his left side. Alongside this he fell and broke a bone, I want to say Pelvis. When attendants were moving him, they accidentally broke his arm. He is also having a problem healing (a wound), it is coming very slow. In short, this man has been through hell and back a few times, but I have never heard him complain. I will ask him how he is feeling “A hard day, a good day, etc… never whining or complaining about the immense pain he feels on a daily basis. I watched him in rehab for a few minutes, thinking about what it would be like to LOSE mobility. When you see someone in a wheelchair do you wonder what got them there? Unfortunately some will depend on a wheel chair their whole life, others of us will rely on one at some time in our life. This week I’m just really in tune with how very precious our health really is, not just physical but mental, emotional.
Today I heard some very sad news about a woman I know who has been through some major trauma in her life. She had a nervous breakdown, is no longer in “reality”. Therefore institution or assisted living is necessary. Wow. This haunts me. I remember when my ex husband left (this was in ’95), the stress, the sadness, the betrayal, all of that and more had me in a place where I was suicidal. At one point I sat in the corner in what once was our bedroom crying. I heard this sound that I couldn’t identify, it was a different type of cry, it was primal, eerie, sounding like a crying animal at a high pitch. It was coming from me! I cried so hard that night that I started to laugh hysterically. Today I feel I was gifted with sanity, then. How fine a line we walk at times. Stress IS a killer on many levels.
Whether it’s from our childhood, our health, betrayal, abandonment, finances, losing our homes…this is a time of tremendous strain and stress. The economy has paralyzed many, service is at an all time low, so whatever service you are paying for, you still have to be on top of whatever it is, at least in my life. The car breaks down, the furnace dies..you get the picture. There is no way of knowing at what point of “the edge” anyone is. Some will fall into themselves, into a dark depression, become self destructive, others will turn outward in anger… I need not mention the frightening increase in shooting sprees, etc. I remember at times during my darkest days, the kindness of some who didn’t even understand the important role they played in helping me..a simple smile of recognition from a stranger at a grocery store, a conversation in a waiting room at a Dr’s office, sharing, caring…KINDNESS! A friend who stayed up and talked to me all night, as I sat on the edge of a dark hole, an abyss of self destruction. She knew the importance of taking the time, letting me talk, holding my hand. This woman, this friend saved my life. I believe that most people who are suicidal do not want to die, they just want their pain to stop. We aren’t taught how to deal with stress, sadness, loss. “A person may not remember your name, or how you look, but they will remember how you made them feel”. Powerful, true. A smile, a simple act of kindness, a few minutes spent helping someone else could be far more significant than you can even imagine!
I guess the point I want to make is that everyone has problems, some more severe than others. There are so many variables. What may piss off one person could bring another to the brink of destruction. While we cannot go about our lives everyday looking to save everyone we come in contact with, we CAN offer a simple smile…YES to a stranger! Northerner’s aren’t accustomed to do this, Southerner’s? Yes! Simple random acts of kindness are powerful powerful gifts.
I’m not sure I achieved what I wanted to accomplish or share with this blog (sighs), but I DO know that today I’m mighty grateful for my health, and that today I am standing in light and have hope…as I know that this very minute many do not, or their challenges and struggles are unfathomable, overwhelming, and more. If you are there, hang on…This too shall pass, this too shall pass. The old adage “it’s always darkest before the dawn” really is true in terms of difficulties.
Have you done something nice for someone else today? Have you gifted yourself with the wonderful feelings that come from random acts of kindness? Remember, our actions, our words impact others both good and bad (positive and negative). What impact did you make in this world today?????