- Disabilities & the Disabled
A Question of Respect - Part I
In the Beginning
She looked around the small room where her few, meager, belongings were scattered here and there. She could not bring her most precious items with her. The space was small; just enough room for a bed, nightstand, chest of drawers, and a small, round, three legged table; an old and cherished friend. The rickety chair, which had accompanied the table for many decades, still sat beside it; another old, friendly remnant from her past. There were a few smaller, unimportant but necessary things, folded in the corner or stacked in boxes, never opened since she moved into this place.
It was a quiet day. The weather had settled into repetitive monotony. She missed the exciting storms and unexpected, abrupt changes in her homeland summers. Not like here; not like the day in, day out, sameness. No, the inclement weather in her 'long ago and far away' beloved Heartland was always a source of wonder! She'd run out into the big, expansive green field which ran a full acre east to west, on the south side of her home. Here, she'd spread her arms, throw her head back and savor the warm rains and whipping winds that rushed in with the boom and bright light of a severe storm front. Oh, how she could so vividly recall the feeling. Freedom! Complete, unencumbered freedom!
She breathed in, deeply, as her eyes closed and memories flooded in. Her memory was attuned to that time; the wide open planes home she loved, and the glory of her surroundings, back then. Waving grains of wheat in the winter, harvested just as it turned the most golden color; tall grasses that grew in abundance along country roads, wild flowers of all kinds; so colorful as she and her parents, brothers and sister, drove the truck into town. Yes, it was a great truck; with curved wrap around side windows. There were triangular windows on either side just in front of the roll down windows in each door. These fantastic triangular windows! The perfect air vents.
"I don't think they make them anymore," she said, aloud. She shocked herself upon hearing her own voice. Hmmmm, 'no,' she thought, quietly now; 'no, I don't think they do.'
Her reverie continued. They were driving down the dusty road, as they had done hundreds of times before. The afternoon sun was shining through the big, thorny "hedge" trees which lined the road, giving refreshing, cooling shade. 'Hedge,' she thought. I never knew the true name of these sturdy brush type trees, and...' The thought disappeared long before it was finished.
She lay back down in her small, but comfortable, bed. Images filled her mind; wind whipping the tall trees, her mother at the old Wedgewood stove; the one with six burners that were fed with liquid propane and the two 'extra' burners that were fire fueled. Her mother preferred to use the latter two just as much as the others, "If we have the wood, that'll help save the gas." she'd say. This was an oft repeated phrase, every morning, year in and year out.
Thoughts raced to later years when, as a young woman, she had decided to venture out into the world. The wide, wonderful, enticing world. These recollections began to take shape and form, as if she walked those streets, again, and felt those feelings. Tall buildings, cars rushing by, cacaphonous 'music to her ears.' The "world" was alive with movement; a throbbing beat which pulsed and thumped with a regular tempo. Non stop and never ending; this new environment stirred her senses as it stimulated parts of her she'd not given too much thought to, before.
She'd applied for and had been given an opportunity to work in a big, expansive highrise. There, she would 'meet and greet' visitors; those who came for pre arranged appointments, and the occasional 'walk in' guest who, for one reason or another, happened to wander through the large, gilded, heavily framed and beveled glass double doors. "Beautiful," she whispered to herself.
Life unfolded as life tends to do. The young woman began to explore her new surroundings; this new beginning. She took such delight in making discoveries each day; 'I must be sure to learn something new every day..' she thought. Having come from a simple home to this strange new place, she saw each and every encounter as a marvel; a magical gift which had been delivered, directly, to her. Life was good.
The old woman had drifted off to sleep on her small but adequate, quilt covered bed. Sometimes, she'd awaken, switch on the overhead reading light, and gaze proudly at the beautiful patchwork quilt. She had made it, as a much younger girl. Her mother had stored it for her, to be kept safely, until, she mused; her daughter would 'come to her senses and returned to her country home.'
"Why would you want to leave this place to go to that dirty city?" her mother often asked. "We have dust and wind blown 'clean up' here, dear, but, there....there are bad people where you're going, and they will take advantage of you."
Her mother continued to warn and chastise but, to no avail. Though she did it with love in her heart for her darling daughter, mother knew it was not going to dissuade her headstrong first born. Still, she tried.
"This is to be expected, I guess." the mother would, almost beneath her breath, admit to. 'Yes, these things are to be expected.' she quietly accepted the fact.
Years passed. The young woman kept in contact with her dear mother and father, as she also talked regularly with her siblings. They, too, had ventured out into the great "unknown,"
The old lady opened her eyes and surveyed her tiny world. This was it; she had lived more years than she had left; many, many more! She was surprised to realize that this did not frighten her; did not cause sorrow or questions. She was, thankfully, ready for leaving; and awaited the loving reunion she was certain would welcome her in the next world.
Her parents had passed long ago, and two of her siblings were gone, too. Only she and one of her brothers remained; and they had, sadly, lost contact. She couldn't really say how this had happened, only that; one day, a decade or so ago, she realized that the two of them had not spoken for a long while. Then, she felt foolish and ashamed and decided not to roil up old arguments and misgivings; no, she'd 'leave well enough alone.' 'Funny,' she mused to herself; 'how this happens. I don't even recall what, exactly happened. For the life of me, I do not know. But, I'll just let sleeping dogs lie.'
So much time had transpired, and she was ready. Tucked deeply amid her few remaining personal articles, was a note she'd written 'just yesterday, I think.' She'd left words of wisdom, she believed, and she had a plan about who might read it. She hoped someone would find it; that it would not be lost in the confusion and sadness when her time came.
She had decided to donate her remains to a University for Medical students to learn anatomy. This had been her fervent desire. Having no children of her own, she did not have to worry that those whom she left behind would fuss and feud over the "proper" way to handle her demise. No, she held a deep conviction about giving back in this life, and she'd left her note to be sure it was done according to her wishes.
The little note, hidden from sight but, easily found when someone sifted through her things, awaited discovery; for she had a message she hoped would touch the young, bright students who would be exploring her remains........
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-07-31 20:16:47
Title :: A Question of Respect - Part I
Category :: Website