Have you ever been in a waiting room where someone with a physical impairment may be grunting and making sounds? I realized the other day I have become numb to others around me and I was awakened to it by two beautiful beings. I was in a waiting in physical therapy and it was just me and a young fellow in his late 20’s I would say. He had a walker. I hid behind my cell phone playing games to avoid interaction. I thought about it but did not know how. It seemed difficult and it made me uncomfortable. Then a woman ( in her 60’s) came in and sat next to him and said, “Hello,” he slurred back, “Hello.” She said, “I like your shirt.” He slurred back with a stutter this time, “I like y y your necklace.” Then she said thank you and extended her hand, “My name is Nancy.” My name is Gregory. They made small conversation back and forth and then her elderly mother came out with a smile pushing her walker, she said goodbye and left. I smiled at Gregory and thought to told myself “I am an awful person.”
Then another beautiful being came in and sat next to Gregory. This time a man in his late sixties I would guess. ” Hey man, what are you in for?” ” I I I have traumatic brain injury, I have a plate inside my head th th th that broke.” The man continued to talk with Gregory and share what his injury was. It went back and forth, so I finally jumped into the conversation. ” Gregory, you need to talk to my mom. She’s in there right now, and she’s complaining about it.” He said, when I got here, I was in a scooter. I I I could not walk. And now I can.” My mom is 81, she came out sat down next to me and said, ” I don’t want to come back here.” She was like a little girl throwing a tantrum. I said, ” Mom, meet Gregory. You need to be more like him.”
The experience was an eye opener for me. I’m not new to the discomfort people feel when others around them don’t look or act a certain way. My father was a double amputee and my childhood memories hold how people used to first react to him as he came into a restaurant or special event. To this day when I see someone missing a limb, I give direct eye contact and a smile and a few words. But that’s because I have experience with it. But when people have a different disadvantage, such as the one in the waiting room, I hide, look the other way, go into denial. What an ugly thing to do. If I just think to myself, that could be my father, mother, etc, I would not want people to ignore, turn away. I’d want them to be treated humanely and be given a chance, like these two individuals did with Gregory.
When I started this blog I thought how much I want to change the way I see beauty, and it all started because I can feel myself getting to 50 and heading to a whole new phase. Up to now, I was confusing Beauty- (something deep, rich, like an intricate painting with all kinds of stokes provoking thought and emotion) with pretty ( shallow, predictable, unilateral). I used to think Beauty was something that fades with time. It does not! Beauty is something you find with time. Those two individuals were to examples of what Beauty looks like. They could have easily hid in a magazine or phone. They did not. Instead they took the time to share and show compassion.
Post Note: Day 306 Honestly have not been to gym in 2 weeks but holding to 146.8. I think Gregory would kick my butt at the gym. I can be motivated by someone like him! Another Beautiful Being!