Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Cancellation

Photo Description: A flock of birds forming a heart springing from a woman's hands.
Sometimes my rides to work are very, very, very early. When a morning person uses the word early, they mean it. When I'm picked up somewhere after 5:30 I know that I'll be sharing part of my ride with a wonderful woman, a delight to chat with, who goes to the gym on a near daily basis. She uses a scooter and talks very frankly about her experiences as a woman with a disability, as a scooter user and as someone with a serious and complicated and life threatening illness. She has fought hard to have the life she has, she has lived longer than anyone ever said she would and she bridles as the idea that it's 'inspirational' to want to live and to want to live well.

I like her.

This morning when I was on my way to work, early, I asked the driver if we were going to pick her up next. He told me that she was indeed on the route and would be picked up next. I leaned back in my chair and enjoyed the ride. I had a story all lined up to tell her, and a question I wanted to ask her. I like the moments shared with others who have a disability and who consider, like I do, that the disability community is a rich resource and who are proud to be part of it.

About ten minutes before the turnoff from the freeway towards her place the driver announced, "I'll be taking you straight to work. The next pick up has been cancelled." I thanked him for letting me know but ...

... my heart dropped out of my chest.

Was she OK?

She's never cancelled before. I didn't want immediately to go to 'health' as a reason because I hate when people do that to me. But then, I don't have the same kind of medical issues, she shared with me quite openly about her battles for good health and against disease. I wondered if she was battling now.

I didn't know what to do.

We have never shared phone numbers.

We have only ever shared rides.

It's none of my business. Except for the fact that 'Mankind is my business," to paraphrase Dickens. I care about her. I wanted her to know what she would never know, that I was on the bus. That I was thinking about her. That I thought she was a wonderful woman. That I enjoyed every minute of our rides together. That I wanted more rides with her. That I want her to win and win and win her battles for health like she's won and won and won.

I wanted her to know that she enters a space and brings warmth and light and welcome.

I wanted her to know that on a dark morning ride, someone was praying for her.


And hoping she didn't mind.


Anonymous said...

I said a prayer for her too and hope that you will see her again soon.

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

We have so many friends now who are online - and whom we will lose completely if something happens to them, and no one updates their FB profile - or equivalent.

I hope your friend is okay, and I'm also saying a prayer.

Someone canceled her ride; maybe that person will update the system, and the driver will know.

It is the risk you take when you open your heart a bit to other people. It is worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping for a flat tire - uncharged battery - unexpected hot date - unexpected job interview - bad hair day . . . and Health and Safety!!

Virtual Hugs to her!

Cindy said...

Maybe you can write her a note and let her know you missed her and ask the driver to give it to her the next time she is on the bus. You could include your work phone number if you feel inclined or not.