One of my faithful readers grows anxious if an entry doesn’t land in her inbox by mid-day. I find her anxiety in that regard quite comforting. I know of a woman who fell down her basement stairs and fatally injured herself. Widowed and childless, she had no one to check on her. A neighbor found her several days after the fall.
I think of myself like that sometimes. Other than my son in Chicago and my sister in St. Louis, no one phones me for days, sometimes weeks on end. No one comes to see if I need anything. When I have “bad days”, clutter piles higher and higher. I’ve long since accepted that I have a very limited amount of energy. My clients and my causes need me more than my housework. So I tolerate occasional lapses of order around the house. I don’t ask for assistance because it doesn’t seem worth bothering anyone.
But now, because of my faithful fan, I rest a bit easier in the knowledge that if I should stumble and lie on the floor out of reach of any means to summon help, she will ponder the absence of a blog entry and eventually seek me out. She’s a client, with only a vague notion of where I live, but she belongs to the small circle of those who have my cell phone number. She lives her own life with fierce determination. I feel reasonably certain that if a couple of days go by and no installment of MYWOC appears, this lady would find out why. She’d rescue me.
For those of us who live solitary lives, knowing that eventually someone would investigate if they don’t see us brings a certain relief.
This weekend, I could not move well enough to get dressed from Friday night until Sunday morning. I’d been in trial almost without a break for weeks, following which I hosted a Holiday Open House for 150 or 200 folks. A handful waited until the last guest had left so that I could join them for a late supper. By 10:30, I realized that something dire had happened to my entire left side. I struggled to get out to the car. My dear devilish buddy Scott Anderson held my arm all the way, then quizzed me quite closely on the potential for my safe navigation home. With only a little guile, I assured him that I would be fine. I did make it, but just barely. I struggled upstairs and for the next forty hours, I found myself completely worthless.
I’m not complaining. I’m saying all this to open your eyes. I’m sure you know someone old, infirm, or alone. They’ve got a phone. Call them. Your path takes you past their home. Stop to see them. Most days, they get along great without company. But once in a while they stumble. They stand in a dusky room and wonder how they’ll get the groceries inside or the trash to the curb. Their light bulbs pop, high out of reach. The dog needs a bath. Dust gathers on the chandelier. A little knot builds in the pit of their gut. They’ve asked for help so many times, they’re sure they will bother you. Don’t let make them wait. Volunteer.
It’s the twelfth day of the thirty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. In a state of gratitude to Miss AP, for sending a note on Saturday expressing relief when my belated blog entry finally reached her, I’m here, in Brookside, on the warm side of a night-time window. Life continues.