Poetiq1der | Poetry Vibe Poetiq1der
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...I have Seen...

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   Having a fire escape is one of the most amazing things that a person could have with an apartment. Just about every morning I climb over my radiator, and onto the escape. At various times I see the most inspirational things…A few months ago were one of those ah ha! moments. My apartment is on the corner of Arlington Ave and Highland Place. However, the way that my building is situated, and because it’s a corner building makes  it a part of Fulton Street as well. My fire escape is closer to Fulton Street than it is to    Arlington Ave. It was early in the morning when I looked down from my perch. Passing under the fire escape were two women. Because they were already walking pass, I couldn’t see their faces. What was abundantly clear however was the fact that one of them was a Home Health Aide, and the other was her patient/client I was inspired by the scene that unfolded…Obviously, when one has a Home Health Aide, they are “disabled” or in some way incapacitated. The aide with her floral print scrub was pushing her client who was in a wheelchair. The most amazing thing about this scenario was that while the aide was pushing her charge, her charge was pushing a shopping cart full of clothes for the laundry. As a thinking human being, I assessed what I was seeing….It is commonplace for a Health Aide to do sundry chores such as grocery shopping, errands and the like. Sometimes the aide will go by themselves to accomplish these tasks…

 

  I wondered to myself why this woman was accompanying her aide to the laundry. Was it because she was wheelchair bound and couldn’t be left alone? My thoughts were a little more grandiose than that. I believed in my heart that the patient still wanted to feel as if she belonged to the Human Race…to show to anyone that was watching that she could still do some things as well. While they diagonally crossed from one side of Arlington Ave to the other where the laundry was located, I studied the infirmed woman’s carriage…I have seen women like her before. There was no doubt, even though her back was turned that she was an older Latina. I looked at her hands as they firmly gripped the sides of the cart. They were strong hands. I have seen those hands in the past carry a newborn infant. I have seen those hands change diapers, offer up a bottle, and chuckle a chin….I have seen those hands spank a naughty bottom, or backhand a fresh mouth. I have seen those hands toil long hours at arduous jobs so that her children wouldn’t have to steal, beg, or do without…Yes, I have seen this woman before in the personage of all the other strong older Latinas who’ve come before her.

 

  I watched as the two, inextricably brought together by position and circumstance finally made it to the other side of the street, and then my mind wandered again. I have seen disabled abuelitas go through their twilight years with just an aide….forgotten by the children they raised, unrecognized in their neighborhoods as the pillars of strength that they were, and are….relegated to the bottom rungs of societal importance…..I have seen. I  wondered if this mujer fuerte was loved by someone….loved by anyone. Now, they were at the entrance of the laundry, and they would have to do a sort of balancing act to enter. The aide held unto her client’s wheelchair with her left hand while holding the door open with her right. As they inched their way inside, I inwardly applauded the old woman for her courage, effort, and fortitude. I wondered if those around her knew that her gray hair represented the Wisdom of the ages. This vieja increible was a Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Sister, and Friend to the world. But, did those in her world even acknowledge her as she went about the daily drudgery of being aged in a world obsessed with youth wasted on the young? Yo traigo mi Corazon a tu mi Madre otro. Have respect for the aged and infirmed. Say hello, open a door, and offer assistance when not even asked. Stand up for those with gray hair, and be humbled in and by their presence, remembering that you too will one day be advanced in age. Just witnessing the sight of that older woman pushing a shopping cart full of clothes while being pushed in a wheelchair taught me more about life and living than all the Knowledge contained in the I Ching Manual.

 

           My name is Poetiq1der…..and, I Have Seen 

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COMMENTS

 

Corey says:

I used to volunteer at a nursing home, so this story touched home. There are many forgotten mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers left to sit the day away...for the rest of their days. I was blessed to listen to many interesting life journeys. The youth fail to realize the great value of the elderly. Thanks for caring and sharing.
 

Poetiq1der says:

Peace and God's Blessings to you and yours...Thank You so much Corey for the love....Forgive my tardy response....I was in the hospital for a few days....Again, Thank You

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