I was sitting on the beach this morning having a coffee with a friend talking about life, the benefits of cotton clothing and what it would be like to have cancer — you know — all that sort of stuff.
When we noticed an obviously ill woman getting out of the surf and walking past us. The comment my friend made was “Isn’t that great, she has (what appears to be) Parkinsons and is still looking after herself and enjoying the beauty that surrounds us”…or words to that effect.
When we had finished chatting I was on my way back and took a different route to my car than usual, when I inadvertently walked past this same ill woman who swung around to me, looked me in the eye and blurted out “What is it with this place! It’s killing me! Look at me I’m sick!”.
This outburst took me by total surprise and I smiled at her while trying to figure out if she was having me on and was trying to be funny since we were surrounded by seagulls, panadanas trees, blue skies, gentle breezes and the endless beauty of a clear blue ocean.
To be honest I was a little stunned and confused. So I waited…………….she was serious.
Her story came out — quite quickly — like she was vomiting it out of her. The place this woman has ended up has become her story, her life.
Her situation is this: She has some sort of illness (not sure what it is), is on a bit of medication and pain tablets, has nowhere to live – but is currently living on someone’s verandah, could no longer live in the house she was in because it was too hot, I’m pretty sure she has no car.
This woman’s main problem, from her point of view, was that she couldn’t afford pants that would cover her calves to protect her from the sun or skin moisturiser. I personally thought there are more urgent problems than those. But this is her story – not mine.
At one stage she cried out that she just wanted someone to take her away to another country.
I got to thinking on my way home of the strength of our convictions, our beliefs and self-worth (which we chatted about — or actually I chatted about, I think she listened).
All the quotes which are just so true — you know the ones
“your life doesn’t get better by chance — but by changing it” etc etc —
The reality is that when we are so far down, are sick, homeless, can’t afford clothes to cover our bodies but live mainly outside in a hot climate, want to escape but don’t have the strength or imagination to achieve it so begin to hope someone will appear to just take you away …………the feeling of hopelessness is overwhelming and soul destroying.
“I just want someone to come and take me away from here” was her cry for help.
No quote will help this woman. Not Facebook or twitter or the internet. Not a doctor or any other Health professional.
All my talk, writing and videoing will not help this woman. As much as it is up to us all individually – there are some people who are just too hard to reach and have gone so far down the path of unhappiness, bad choices and lost causes to be almost irredeemable..Although I always believe NOTHING is impossible.
She needs friends, community, love, acceptance and support.
How does this woman get up, rediscover her health, her personal strength, her drive and determination when all she has known is rejection and now failure.
I have no answer for that.
I did share a bit of my story with her though. How close I was to living in my car, how sick I have been, that my life has not turned out how I anticipated, my new grandson was born yesterday and I can’t afford to go and see him (the burdens of having kids living overseas) and how every evening I go for a swim and walk the beach while embracing the beauty that surrounds me.
Things always change……… it’s inevitable that nothing stays the same. If only I could help her realise this and give her hope for her future.
So anyway after her chatting to me for a while about Michael Jackson and how he died with millions of dollars of debt (did he?) and no matter how much money people have they still aren’t happy — I reminded her that there are still people out there who DO have money and are happy…
Happiness is a choice — money or not.
Money makes it far more comfortable.
Make sure you look at where you want to go and not where you fear to end up
Or you will end up there — this is a basic law of living.
If you focus on what you fear, poverty, illness, homelessness you will get closer and closer to it everyday.
I know I will see this woman again, I didn’t let her know where I live as it didn’t feel right and I know she has shelter. And her friend was with her.
As she left I gave her a hug. Her hug was lifeless like all the energy had been sapped from her body. Her voice had become whisper quiet and breathless.
I am not sure if she heard me or of the voice in her head was overriding me saying ‘she has no idea what I’m up against — my life is impossible. How could she understand.’ If so I understand that — I’ve been there.
She has an amazing story and I will find out more of it and share more of mine with her — and along the way I’m hoping her strength will start to return.