Today I helped a man with no arms. He was in a wheelchair and his arms were prosthetic extensions with hooks on the end. (I know that is not the politically correct way to describe them but I am at a loss as to what they should be called. I apologize.) I noticed him as soon as I turned down the aisle he was on at Wal-Mart today. My first thought was, "Dear Lord, please don't let my girls stare at this man." But that would not be the case. You see, this man asked for help. And, I am so glad that he did. He had a gentle kind voice and a nice smile. It made me feel good to be doing something for somebody else. Well, God didn't answer my prayer....He had a different plan. He wanted my girls to see him. Or, maybe he wanted ME to see him. When I say that God wanted me to see him, I mean that God wanted me to face the reality of a situation that I didn't really and truly know how to deal with. It was like a metaphor for several things that I haven't truly dealt with in my life.
I have a terrible time dealing with death. Or the prospect of death. You see, Mike and I lost our very best friends, a great couple, in a horrible accident 4 years ago. Mike grieved right away. I thought that I was being strong for him but I later realized that I was just avoiding dealing with a difficult circumstance. I finally began to deal with it nearly 2 years later when I started dreaming about them. More recently was the death of my grandmother. She has been gone for a little over a month and I don't know that I have yet completely dealt with that. It really bothers me though. I can picture her at the funeral. I can feel her. Yet, in my mind I still see her smile, smell her sweater, hear her voice, and feel her soft kiss on my cheek. I miss her.
Now, I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my Uncle Mike was recently diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gherig's disease. He is a big strong man. He is funny. And yet, here he is with this terrible disease. It is in its advanced state and there is absolutely no chance of getting better. In my mind, I know all this, but I can't picture him any other way than what I saw as a child. I know that has a lot to do with the fact that we live in TX and he lives in Kansas. But even when I saw him just over a month ago I still saw him like I did as a kid despite the oxygen tank that he was hooked up too. I know that my aunts and uncles and his wife and kids are having a difficult time dealing with this. You know, it is a helpless feeling when you can't be there to help or to comfort. Am I dealing with this yet? I don't know. I do know that I think of him multiple times each day. I think of all these people. Life is definately tough sometimes, but one way or another we all manage to make it through one day at a time.