Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling the sunshine...

Last night I caught up on my Oprah, W5, and Dr. Oz episodes. I missed a lot of from my weekend in Collingwood. I watched an episode where a woman's face got destroyed by a chimp. She lost her eyes, hands and her entire life as she knew it in the attack. Amazingly, the woman had a positive outlook. She admitted that she sometimes felt angry, but knew that feeling wouldn't get her far. In the rehab center where the woman stayed, she made a point to walk around. Her greatest pleasure involved "feeling the sunshine" on her arms. How many people really stop to appreciate such small things? The woman always wore a hat that covered her face. She chose to take off her hat publicly on Oprah. She was missing her eyes. Though her facial structure was unlike anything I've ever seen, I couldn't stop thinking about the impact her injury would have on the rest of her life. How could she not feel alone? Who else in the world would know how it felt to be attacked by a chimp, to not have eyes or hands?

Yesterday the Observer was frustrated because he wanted to walk. I understand. My attendants were frustrating me. I use attendants because I can't walk. Our specific frustrations are different, but somewhat connected. The cause is often the same behind the problems the Observer and I encounter. Being challenged can feel lonely, but at least there are people in the world who understand exactly how I feel. I'm not sure the woman who lost her face will ever be able to find anyone who understands. Maybe she'll meet super compassionate people. We ALL have challenges. They happen to be different. Hopefully the woman will get to feel the sunshine on her arms every day.


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