Friday, March 25, 2011

Something to Ponder

It's sunny and cold in the Burgh today.  I just passed an accident on Liberty Avenue and the police have blocked both lanes from the 16th Street Bridge to the 21st.  I heard on the radio that a pedestrian was hit by an SUV.  It's a shame but this isn't an unusual occurence.  Of course, it has traffic backed up across the bridge and to Polish Hill in the opposite direction.  My doctor's appointment is in Shadyside, but because I am neurotic I left an hour and a half early.  The woman behind me apparently did not.  She keeps honking her horn though it is doing no worldly good.  Wait, is she MF-ing me? Ok, so this would be a goodtime to check my phone messages and enjoy the sun.  But let me just say Mrs. Wild Hair Up the Ass is laying on her horn whenever I don't IMMEDIATELY inch forward as space opens up in front of me.  Ah well.  Sucks to be her.

On another indirectly connected note, I have been feeling grateful for my life, my family, my health and all of the support I have today.  I don't know if the person who was hit on Liberty today was killed, injured or what.  I do know that bad shit like this happens all the time, every second, every day. Right now even as I type.  It has made me think about how blessed I am.

Jane is my next door neighbor.  I help her to bathe her mom who is bed ridden three days a week. Jane works nightshift fulltime as a prison guard.  She then drives directly to her mom's house, bathes, changes, and feeds her and only then drives to her own home to get some sleep. Sometimes she is only five minutes from her house and her mom will call and she'll have to go back.  Despite this, and the fact that she is exhasted and  it is not a pleasant task, she is gentle and loving with her mother.  I fear that if I were that tired and under that much stress I would be harsh and mean, even cruel.  I admire the strength it must take for her to sacrifice so much.  I told her so one day and her response to me was "She took care of me."  That was it.  Just that simple.

Jane's younger sister Sue lives with her mom.  She gets up at 5:00 AM, wakes her mom, feeds her, cleans her up and then leaves for work.  When she gets home from work at 4:30 PM she does the same thing over again, day in, day out.  Jane just told me that Sue has lupus.  Yet Sue goes to work every day, takes care of her mom every day and has lupus every day.

 I've lived in my current home for 10 years and the truth is that my next door neighbors have always scared the hell out of me.  They are Northsiders, no bullshit, brusque, tell it like it is folks.  They do not suffer fools kindly.  I can't remember seeing any of them smile and they don't go in for hugging or affectionate talk.  They crack wise, insult and grumble and growl at each other.  Yet when it comes down to it, their actions speak clearly their true feelings.  They are of service to one another.  They take care of one another.  For 10 years I have thought that my neighbors didn't like me because they are gruff, never smile and don't make small talk.  And it turns out that all this time it had nothing to do with me.

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