Thursday, June 30, 2011

All in a Day's Work

Took the train to the city for business today.  It was a beautiful day - sunny, low humidity.  Bob and I went together to tag team at the client ... it's been a long time since we did it and it's always fun and entertaining.

This morning, there was a black gentleman that asked me for the time on the platform in Poughkeepsie.  I gladly gave it to him and we exchanged smiles.  What I didn't notice was both his arms seemed to be prosthetic.  Bob pointed it out to me once we were on the train.  'Did you notice that guy's arms?', he said.  Me being the nosy busy-body that I am had to check it out when I had the opportunity getting off the train.  No wonder I didn't notice - there were beautiful black hands protruding from the long sleeves of a white shirt.  I was surprised Bob could even tell they were false!  I looked closely and yes there was a type of plasticity to them.  They seemed to start at elbow and made arms look unusually long.  He was carrying his shoulder bag in his hand and looked to me again and smiled. 

On our way home now and 6 rows in front of me is an oriental family - I know I'm supposed to use Asian or something, but it's hard to get used to.  They are split across 2 rows.  It's about 7:45p and the train is crowded with business people and the occasional tourist.  On these peak trains, the rule of the day is quiet - sleep and work abound.  But the man on the right is smiling and guestering to the pair in the seat across.  It looks funny to see such an animated face with no noise coming out of it!  I can only see them from the neck up.  Finally, I realize what's happening - they are talking in sign language!  Having a perfectly acceptable 'train' conversation between them!!  Hands and arms are flying as the conversation now looks more like an argument!!   Curiosity has me now - are they still speaking Chinese to each other or is this sign language universal?  If so, could I jump into the middle of  the conversation?  I might have to break up this fight!

On our way to the train today I had to stop at the Dyson Center for my radiation treatment.  I had them move my regular time for me so we could make today's appointment with the client.  Dan and Maggie were nice enough to come in 15 minutes early to take care of me before 8am.  For my outfit today, I purposely wore a shirt with a collar to hide the redness of my chest and shoulder on the right.  I've got this whisper of a hairdo that calls enough attention to me, I didn't need to show off my 'sunburn' to start the initial meeting with a conversation about my bout with breast cancer and what it's done to me.  So, we didn't.  I walked in, shook hands, exchanged pleasantries and went to work. 

The man with no hands, the family with no hearing and me all have something in common.  We strive to just be ok with what we have, or have not.  To find a way to conduct our day as easily and comfortably as we can. To live a life that's full and interesting and joyful.  To understand those that feel pain and feel less of themselves, but not to pity them for they wouldn't have it that way.  Comfortable in your own skin ... lemons and lemonade ... all in a day's work.


Perla said...

You are an amazing lady, Mary Ritter!
It is indeed a privilege to know you.....Best wishes always!

DOI said...

I couldn't say it better than Perla did!