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Donna's Journal
Always Someone There

Someone, somewhere, appointed me a nurse in this family. If there was a degree other than a Mrs. it might have helped. There are bee stings, sore throats, ear infections, sprains, throwing up stomach aches, broken bones, toothaches, broken hearts, broken marriages, nosebleeds, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, asthma, hay fever, eczema, sinuses, a year of screaming nightmares from a terrible trauma, severe lacerations on a hand to cause microsurgery for ligaments, car accidents and those are the things I can remember.

We have been told adversity makes us stronger. Let me tell you something different. It definitely does not make you stronger. Unless the experience with asthma lets you know when a child begins to fight for breath one knows what the outcome can be. Having seen Gramma Bell fight for her last breath didn't make me any stronger, just more aware. Weak knees and fear are not strength, not as I last understood it to be.

We fought through the time with Dad when hemorrhage wasn't any easier to accept  no matter how many times we went through it. No, we are certainly not stronger, maybe more plodding, but not strong.

Now as we care for our aging Mother as the doctor teaches us to do, once again we begin to twirl like an old windmills that has been cranked up, pushed faster and faster by swift, even swifter winds.  If there is any strength at all it like the Native American  story of the boy who goes to live with the spider when his mother dies. The moral of that story being, “there will always be someone or something there for you when you need them.”

Suddenly we back track into what we know will carry us through the times. There must be an attention to the people around us;  be they strangers or acquaintances. While we sit in the car waiting we enjoy our people watch time which is a pleasant diversion.  The way they walk, hustling along, shuffling by, trudging through, or dancing along as if they are in an Irish folk dance. They all are a distraction to us.

“There's Linda!  Mom.”  Rhonda speaks up.

“I'm going to yell at her!”  I announce to those in the car.

“Linda! Linda!”  I call to her.

For a moment this woman who is now aging but still very beautiful doesn't recognize us. How long has it been since we've seen her? Her face lights up as she calls back, “Rhonda! Hi Rhonda! How are you?”  She waves a broad and friendly wave.

“Who is that?”  Mother asks.

“I don't know. I really don't. We have just known her as Linda for all these years. She used to work at the old Gibson store. Always considerate of Rhonda she was. That was twenty-five years ago.”

For today we found that someone who was there for us.

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