Thursday, May 10, 2007

A pondering inspired while limping...

A bitch would like to thank everyone who has inquired about my fucked up leg!

The sprain is healing…slowly…and the swelling is still there. I’m going back to the doctor for another x-ray to double check on the possibility of a hairline fracture.

Ugh.

Anyhoo, since a bitch has been limping about St. Louis I’ve noticed some things.

Shall we?

A Pondering inspired by limping through St. Louis…
A bitch is not one to wait for others to open doors for me. It took me forever and a day to get used to that shit when I lived in Texas! But my fucked up leg has resulted in some slow ass walking. Most people make it to the door before me and it is the rare motherfucker who doesn’t pause to hold it open.

People slow down to match their pace with me…offer to carry things…offer medical advice.

It’s amazing!

Get this; the other day a bitch was knee deep in fubarity and seeking yummifed ice cream at the market to drown my sorrows. The flavor I was lusting after was on the top shelf but this bitch is not the tallest bitch so it was out of reach. Normally, I’d use the bottom shelf as a step and take care of bitness…but my lower leg isn’t fond of stretching in step formation right now and an ice cream flavor hasn’t been created that’s worth that kind of pain.

I wasn’t there looking at my heart’s desire…so close and yet so far away…for more than a minute before a young man approached and offered to help.

“I can see that you’ve hurt your leg. Let me get that for you!” he said.

After ice cream and thank you so muchitude were exchanged this bitch checked out and headed home…and couldn’t stop pondering what the young man had said.

Did he help because he approved of the source of my need for help?

Or was he just trying to explain his offer of assistance?

It reminded me of a volunteer-based experience I had last week. I took my limping self to volunteer at a fundraiser for Place for People. It was a fantabulous event and lots of folks showed up for yummy food, great music and glamorous people watching. The Executive Director took a moment before the auction to tell those attending a couple of mission based stories about their clients and how the money raised would help.

She told of a woman who lived on the streets, one of the thousands of mentally ill citizens who do. The woman was given emergency shelter but felt that she wasn’t good enough to live in such a place…a simple apartment that was a luxury to her.

I thought of her and of those she represents as I returned home from the markets with my ice cream…the ice cream that I am blessed to be able to afford …the ice cream someone was kind enough to get down for me.

We are a generous city. The support of the Places for People fundraiser is an example of that generosity. But it occurred to me that some people still think in terms of acceptable need.

If someone is homeless they are too often seen as lazy and manipulative…willful social drop outs or misfits who deserve their lot in life.

But many are mentally ill.

And they are people in need of a place.

As a volunteer I well know that there is joy of having helped someone. I also know that finding a safe place to stay and proper treatment shouldn’t be placed high on the top shelf…so close and yet so far away.

Those things shouldn’t be unreachable.

For more information on Place for People and the work they do please visit their web site.

3 comments:

Maya's Granny said...

I have needed a cane the last couple of years. What I have discovered is that people will go out of their way to help others when they see the need. And, that sometimes it is really hard to ask for/or accept help. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn has been to let people help me.

Anonymous said...

I often ponder stuff like this as a mass transit rider and city dweller, not that homeless folks don't live elsewhere. just last night i ran into a fellow obviously with mental issues sitting on a bench in front of my schnucks. i've seen him before, many times, and he seems to have calmed down some, and he was better dressed. i thought, oh god, how am i gonna get past him into the store, but it was no big deal and he was gone when i left. i wonder what his story is. lots of times folks are homeless because they've exhausted immediate family and friends resources. so here's my question, have you ever thought about sheltering someone at your own house? for a short while anyway. i'm just wondering.......

BML said...

As a former ankle patient myself -- I had the same experience as you, where people would offer to help -- it makes them feel good, you need the help, so it's a win-win!

I just got back from a trip to Europe, though -- and I don't think they have even HEARD the words "handicap access." I have never seen so many stairs without an alternate way!

I'm just happy that my ankle is healed and I could look forward to the stairs as a way to tone my butt, lol!