Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What is Real?

I was having lunch with a friend and her son the other day, and as we left the restaurant, we noticed a woman who was wheelchair bound. I say "bound" because it was clear that this was her method of mobility as her hands and legs had started to curl up on themselves as if she had MD or CP. I thought of my friend Trey, who had the same thing and that was how he looked, so this is where I get my reasoning of MD.

But I digress.

She was sitting in the shade, tipped back and she wasn't moving. So my friend, her son and I walked by just to make sure she was still alive, it was hard to tell, as it is with people with MD, and still we couldn't tell. For all practical purposes, she looked dead. As if this was her final day and somehow knowing that she chose to spend it under the shade of the tall Oaks, in the breeze of a gorgeous, sunshine day.

So we crossed the street and came back, sort of like a "U" shape and she had closed her mouth, so we breathed a sigh of relief and went on our way.

And then, as I am want to do, I thought.

I thought, I wonder what that woman's life was like. Was she born that way, or did something happen along the way. Is she married, does she have children and a husband that care for her, or have they abandon her to the care of someone else? (Side note, I know it's not easy caring for someone with a debilitating disease). What was she like in her youth? Did she have a zest for life, was she invigorating, because clearly she is now, as she zipped along the sidewalk (my friend saw her going to the shady area, I didn't), going to her chosen place.

But moreso, was she ever "real" to anyone. Because that's a wonderful feeling that I think is reflected here:

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

If anything, she looked well-loved and "real".


Blogger Big Pissy said...

Awwwww....I love "The Velveteen Rabbit"....

12:03 PM  
Blogger dirk.mancuso said...

Wonderful post. And I loved "The Velveteen Rabbit" quote.

I see similar people and think "there but for the grace of God..." and then I get sad, because despite the theory I have a little black lump of tar for a heart, I am a big ol' softie. I just want everyone to have at least one person that loves them, you know?

11:13 AM  
Blogger hotdrwife said...

I love the Velveteen Rabbit!! I must go revisit that now.

And a great post, btw ....

2:18 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Totally makes you question life when you witness this sort of thing. I've never heard of "The Velveteen Rabbit". Who is this? What an interesting story!

4:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hello. So I was bored at work and decided to go through some random peoples blogs. I wound up on yours, and I just wanted to thank you for keeping me occupied during my otherwise boring day.


ps. I hope you enjoy the AIDS walk. Sounds like a very cool thing, and of course the cause is excellent!

3:44 PM  

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