I am stuck and it's my own doing. I was up to over 2,000 emails after Cyber Monday and I was forced to face some truths about myself to figure out that there were a lot of mailing lists I needed to unsubscribe from. I have had some angels in the past few months, which I will get to later. But many people have left my life to go pursue other interests and take care of themselves. I don't bother contacting many people because they think they need to respond to my "how are you?" emails with 101 reasons why they haven't come by and/or kept in touch. I've learned to back off and let people come to me. The problem is that fewer and fewer people are caring to keep in touch. "Busy" is a relative term. When I was working full-time and studying for my Masters at NYU, I saw the people I wanted to see, so "busy" is code for "I am not interested anymore", so I back off. As everyone knows, when I lose people from my life, there is little chance to make new friends. All summer I was waiting for a nice surprise, and two bunny rescue angels came over after Chelsea's near-death crisis. They noticed my filter light for the air conditioner was on, and proceeded to clean the filter. Suddenly they noticed all my coils were corroded and I figured this was probably due to the work that had been done on my building's brickwork the summer before. The building management had suggested we cover up our air conditioners and leave them off, but this was not going to happen in the middle of July. So I had been breathing all kinds of junk and toxins, and I have a disease that already compromises my immune and respiratory system. So the consensus was that I needed a new air conditioning unit. So my friends looked at me, as I said "yeah I'll get one".
Well, they said "No you won't. We know you". So a week later, there was a box at my door from Best Buy, with a new AC unit. $60 to my assistant super and he installed it. Now, those are angels!! All summer long, I waited for another miracle. The ALS Walk was in late September and my aide Cheryl and friend Louise got me in and out of the car, to be joined by the Wolff family. A small team this year, but a team nonetheless. I posted about my team on Facebook and a couple of surprise donations came in, but no bodies to walk with us. But the donations were somewhat of a surprise -- one from a new friend who has MS and another from a high school friend who also has MS.
I managed to receive a blessing from two new angels. One is a lady with MS who lives in Brooklyn. She came out to Queens and took us to Ben's Best. It is really nice to go out with another person with a disability who really "gets it". She has wheelchair troubles and I know that we will get together again soon; I know her promises are not empty. I had another lovely surprise in October. A bunny-rescue friend who had helped transport Chelsea to the vet during her crisis this spring, met me and my aide Gulshan at the New York Botanical Gardens and then treated us to lunch at a pop-up Japanese restaurant there. She left with a promise to re-visit the Gardens during the famous train show during December. I will wait for her to come around if life doesn't get in the way. If not December, I am sure something will happen with her in the future. I have a standing invite from a lady in Manhattan [who is with ALSA] for a museum visit, and I have an angel in Manhattan who sends me personal care items every month and would meet me for lunch any time I would ask. She does enough and will always be my special angel. My angel volunteer who has been coming for 7 years, had back surgery this summer. But we got together once a month during fall and will go to a museum in February. And Louise came a few weeks ago and we ordered lunch in. I was invited to my sister's home for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I had seen my family since February.
I am amid clutter all the time. And my apartment is nowhere as clean as I would like it to be. I have to pay $60 for a good cleaning in my studio apartment, and I rarely can spare the cash, especially with the holidays coming and having to squirrel away everything I can for tips fo the building staff and the few Christmas presents I have to buy. I have boxes and cartons all over the place because nobody wants to go to the storage room in the basement to store and retrieve them. I now have Chelsea confined in a corner, but have to pay someone to clean her space. I have a bunch of clutter on top of my dresser and I have to clear drawers to transfer the stuff to. But this is not easy from a wheelchair. But I have to do it a little at a time.
And, the emails -- I am finally getting realistic about what mailing lists I really need to be on, according to where I can realistically shop and where I will reasonably be able to go during the rest of my life. The aides are no longer willing to go with me on social visits. I can go on Access-a-Ride by myself to meet a friend, but I am deathly afraid of having a bathroom urgency and nobody to help me. My friend with a disability whom I know from the Concepts Board actually claims to have trained his bowels to empty every morning, and then goes off on his own to study at Queens College. That is quite a feat and I know this is Too Much Information, so I will stop for now.
Until 2004, I was an independent and active woman -- a former airline sales exec and then a high school educator. Then my body kept betraying me. I was finally diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease -- confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. With life at a slower pace, I learned to live a more conscious and mindful life -- buying, eating and other choices. I listen instead of talking, and I observe instead of running and rushing.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Cluttered Space and a Cluttered Mind but the Existence of Angels
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