Saturday, January 10, 2009


IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Recently had coffee with a friend, and as we got our cups and looked around for a place to sit, I intentionally steered her towards one corner, away from a table where four grown men were seated. But it was a small cafe, and I could still easily overhear the four men's conversation, no matter how hard I tried not to.

One of the men had developmental disabilities, and the other three could not have been kinder towards him.

It broke my heart.

They asked how he'd done during the recent snow storm that stranded people for days/weeks.

"Okay," he answered.

"What did you do all that time?" one asked.

"TV. Lots of TV," he answered.

"Anyone check on you?" another asked.

"My sister. My sister called every night. My sister calls every night."

One of the men at the table had watched me as I looked for a place to sit, he'd seen me look at them, notice the man with the developmental differences, and subsequently choose another table. A more distant one.

Throughout my conversation with my friend I saw the man look up at me, catch my eyes.

In his eyes I saw the question, "Why do you avoid us? Don't you understand?"

I avoided them not because I don't understand, I avoided them because I do.

All too well.

I couldn't bear to let my mind go to a distant day when STM and I are gone, where Rojo lives all alone and just watches TV all day.

And where his sister calls at night.

Every night

Because she will.

I know she will.

And that day, it was all just too close to home.

I stayed away because I do understand.

I really do. And for that precious hour, I needed to forget just how much I understand.

20 comments:

Wanda said...

Beautifully written--and wrenching.

Jerri said...

Read you loud and clear on this one. I understand all too well, too.

Angie Ledbetter said...

You are a precious soul. Next time, buy 'em all a bagel. :) Huggage

Anonymous said...

There is no comment that can touch this blog.

Me said...

BIG HUGS

drama mama said...

Beautiful.

But I'm not sure that Rojo will be alone watching TV.

Remember, there's a girl here that would make him a very lovely wife.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Love.

Lola said...

wow - i am speechless-but I understand
xo

Nancy said...

What touched me is the beautiful men that cared for this man. Blessings.

courtneywrites said...

Carrie, this really moved me. With love, c

Kim said...

Oh honey. So beautiful.

So much love.

deb said...

I worry about Katie as well. What will become of her when I'm gone. I try not to think about it too much because I can't stop myself from dying and it makes me cry to think about her on this earth without me.

Deb Shucka said...

No words but love.

french panic said...

I wonder how many times people think the "wrong" thoughts about situations like this.... if the man you made eye contact will be discussing this with someone and use you as an example of how uncaring and prejudiced people are....

But how painful it would be if we had to show what's in our hearts at every single moment!

marge said...

Touching and cuts to the core. Lots of love.

Amber said...

Yes.

((you))

;)

Kathryn said...

I get it, Carrie. With ya.

She said...

Oh, Sweetie! You are so awesome!

I love that Whoohoo will absolutely call him every night, but I'm guessing she won't need to that he'll be married to Miss M or Riley and they will be giddy happy and busy as beavers living their beautiful lives!

kario said...

Oh.

Love.

Just love.

Jess said...

Beautiful post. Heartbreaking. I wouldn't be so sure he'll be alone though.