Confessions and Cashmere

cashmere, wine and pathfinding

Posts Tagged ‘patience

Along the way

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My mother accepted anyone for who they were. She always had a special way of explaining the unexplainable. Babies came out of mummies tummies was a classic half truth until we were old enough to understand. The ATM only gave mum money because we needed to buy groceries was another. She always told us the PIN number was her explaining to the bank we needed more food. (Funny that, I never bugged her for money from the bank after that, only ever from her wallet!) I also love how my mum accepts those people who are disabled.

My first memory of a disabled person was in church. He was playing on the floor quietly and then his sister took a toy from him and he started screaming. LOUD. Now, I remember even if my sister pinched or kicked me I couldn’t pick a fight with her in church.
Just to clear this up, I have never had a fight with my sister in church, but its still something I think of as a HUGE no no. . . So obviously this little boy screaming was something I couldn’t understand. As soon as I could after the sermon, I remember asking mum what was wrong.
“He’s disabled sweetie, sometimes he doesn’t understand that he is doing something that people think of as wrong.”
“But why? I’m not allowed to do that.” Like every other young kid I always wanted as thorough explanation as possible.
“Well he is special. One day you will grow up and be a big person. But he will stay the same. Staying the same makes him special and means that we all have to take extra care around, and with him.”
“Ok, but what makes him special?” I was frustrated. Mum called me special all the time, Granddad did too, how could I at that young age differentiate these two kinds of special-ness. And mum in her way did explain:
“He was touched by an angel Sweety. When he was in his mummies tummy he got really scared so God asked an angel to check on him, and when she went to check on him she made him that special.”

That favourite TV show of mine

Well at that age, that seemed like a good enough answer. I mean I loved, LOVED, a TV show back then called “Touched by an angel”. This answer combined with my theory of god and a TV show made enough sense that I shut up.

But while some people may get pissed off that my mum hijacked God and Angels and a TV show to make me respect and care for a little disabled child, and all those disabled children thereafter. I think it’s great. Because, unlike other kids, my sister and I were gentle and patient and caring, we also protected these kids at school (my sister punched up a boy bully once, because he stole money from an “angel touched” kid). I think it’s great that I grew up gentle and respectful of people that can’t help who and how they are.

I’m talking about it now because somewhere along the way I still cared about them, but I stopped making time for those disabled people that sometimes really need a tiny bit of attention. I’m not talking about being a disability spokesperson, carer or a protector. I’m talking about how I used to make 5 minutes of time to sit with these people at the family or friends functions. To patiently sit, and listen, and make conversation so they felt part of this place. To give them a sense of normalcy in an otherwise bizarre moment in their lives. Sometimes it would be to just visit the family and help them with their homework so their mum could actually have a 15 minute break. But I used to get out there and give small amounts of time.

So recently when I did this in my second language, in my husbands country, the shock that came to his face was sad. He hadn’t seen me as that person, the one who notices these people. He didn’t have a problem but at the same time he hadn’t seen the better part of me. I’m trying to get that part back. I’m just frustrated that I let that go.

When have you rediscovered something about yourself that you liked? What are your memories of your parents telling a “truth”? Or what is something that has stuck with you since you were little?
Chelsea B


Written by confessionsandcashmere

June 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm