Sunday, December 07, 2008

I Can't Get Her Out of My Mind

Working on the ambulance , as I do for over 100 hours each month, is the most rewarding activity that I'm involved in. I get back much more than I give.

These times are relatively tough. The news of my town, the country, and the world is disheartening. Problems, problems, problems. My IRA has taken a nosedive, too. I need some Christmas cheer, and the ambulance provides it.

Nothing is so elevating as meeting someone who really has it tough and is somehow staying positive. I met a lady the other day who has pretty much done this, although I expect some days are harder than others.

She had a great career in a big city until, one day in her late twenties, a freak illness almost killed her. For the past thirty years following her slow awakening from a coma, she's been coping with the aftermath. Operation after operation, disfiguring her and making her every day another chance at experiencing a sudden death. Can you imagine living like this?

I saw how her nurse hugged her tenderly when she released her to me for another trip to the hospital. As we chatted on the way and in the hospital triage area, she told me how grateful she was to her long-ago employer for giving her back her job after a year and half away from work. She smiled when she related to me that a female friend of hers was a WWII veteran. She lit up when I complimented her on a beautiful ring she was wearing, and she told me the story of when she got it. She was living in the moment, although she knew that she faced a lot of poking, prodding and deliberating with doctors over what to do with her today.

People like her shape my way of dealing with life's ups and downs. Nothing is guaranteed. There are far worse things than a fading IRA. At the end of the day, survival and the chance to experience a joyful moment, even in the midst of troubling uncertainty, is the core of what life is about. And, as a believer, I have hope even if the worst comes to pass.

Thank you, sweet lady, for making my day!

1 comment:

Ron Davison said...

One of the things that I come back to from Covey's teaching is the distinction between circle of influence and circle of concern. Sounds like this lady, by living in the moment, brought you back to your circle of influence.