Day 76: The Blind Woman

I returned to the lab this morning to get my blood work done. Yesterday, I was turned away, because I’d not realized I needed to fast. Yesterday the lab’s waiting room had been crowded.

Today when I entered the room, there was no person in the waiting area but me.

Shortly after I sat down, a young lady escorted an elderly Chinese woman inside. I immediately noticed the elderly woman’s eyes. They were shut closed. The young woman led the blind woman to a chair, before she quickly exited to park the car.

For the time, it was only me and the blind woman. The woman was seated across from me about six-feet away. As I smiled out at her, I realized she did not know I was in the room.

I hesitated to speak. But I was compelled to make my presence known. Leaning forward in my chair, I offered the woman a gentle good morning. Then I wondered what had caused her blindness. Wondered why she had to have blood work done. And wondered, too, why her lids were so tightly sealed together.

There was only seconds between the time I said good morning and the time the woman took to respond. Upon hearing my words, she searched for me, her head slightly turning my direction. Again, I wondered.

“Good morning,” the old woman answered, with an inflection and spirit liken to a young person. And then, without pause, she continued. “I so, so, scared,” she said in broken English. “I so, so, scared,” she said again.

She placed her aged hand over her chest and flapped her hand repeatedly. “I no like when they put the point in me,” she confessed. She attempted a smile. Without the use of her eyes for expression, the rest of her—arms, mouth, head, wrinkles, shoulders—they all played their part.

She curled into herself and then used her hand to demonstrate a beating heart again. “I been here many times. No make difference. I still get so scared. I can’t help. I don’t like be here. So, so scared.”

I tried my best to offer her some comfort through my words. I don’t think she understood anything I said. But she smiled just the same. To be heard—she only needed to be heard.

Soon the young escort returned, and I was called in for my blood draw.

This blind woman was a wonderful gift.

In the few moments this woman had shared her truth, I had stood beside her in spirit. And as I stood by, I had recognized my own self in her. With my recognition, my own fears were temporarily lessened. In viewing our likeness, my own misgivings were decreased.

In being there, hearing her voice, and  recognizing our shared humanity, I understood this:

In an often obscured world we are each, in our own way, waiting for our voice to be heard.

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26 thoughts on “Day 76: The Blind Woman

  1. Me, too. I had to. She was so alone and vulnerable. I’ll remember her for the rest of my life. I might have helped her for a moment but she helped me forever. Thank you for the visit. 🙂

  2. It really didn’t occur much to me until you spoke of the blind woman, but my cat, Tamika, serves much the same purpose in my life at home. She has an empty laundry hamper with a pillow on top of it that sits next to my computer chair. It is the right to be even with me when I sit. She often comes there when she wants to be petted (or complain!). I realize now that she comes by to help me as well. The two of us comfort each other for a moment or two. Sometimes, she lays down and stays, others, she jumps off and is gone for hours.
    Thanks for helping me view my world just a bit differently,
    Scott

    1. That’s a fantastic connection! I remember you mentioning your cat before, in a post, maybe. How much she missed you when you were out of the house. What a wonderful connection the two of you have. 🙂 Thank you for that beautiful comment.

  3. I love Modern English, and this song! It makes me dance everytime I hear it. 🙂 I also love what you shared here it warmed up my soul. I was feeling overwhelmed and a bit disconnected from sharing connections, and my own fears. (Does that make sense?)

    Thank you for a lovely post!

      1. How strange – I was watching one of those One Hit Wonder vapid VH1 or MTV shows the other night, and this song was on it. And now here it is again. It’s SUCH a great song 🙂

  4. Sam you are such a lovely soul…i am sure this one time that lady may have not feared anymore when she went inside cos someone listened to her, and in a way you were there with her holding her hand…..how these small precious gestures mean so much more than any gift in the world….
    hugs n love 🙂

  5. Takes one to know one. Do you know that saying? 🙂 You are a lovely soul. Thank you sweet Soma. This sliver of my day spoke magnitudes to me. Thank you for your continued comments. Have a wonderful day. 🙂 Sam

  6. What a beautifully drawn piece. I’m so glad you spoke to her too. It’s so SCARY doing that … and makes such a difference.

  7. Hi Sam, I just had to send you this link to a post I wrote only a week or so ago because it is such a similar message and used the same song and well, I liked the sense of connection I felt as I was reading your post. http://lifeandink.com/2012/03/28/for-ariane-and-those-who-lie-awake-at-night/

    And I hope too that you will read the post I wrote this week about thanking adults with Aspergers not because I am trying to self-promote my writing, but because I specifically mentioned your blog. In doing so without contacting you first I didn’t mean to commit any blogging faux pas. I just don’t yet know all the blogger rules and I really have appreciated your posts and wanted to write that. Gratefully, Internet Awkward Charlotte!

  8. Hi Sam. So very poetic in its simplicity. So much you didn’t say meant you said so much more. Quiet, peaceful writing which aims straight at the heart. These moments in life happen but rarely, if ever.

    Some years ago now, I was at A n E, I cannot even recall why, one of those kids’ injuries necessittaing an x ray I think. There was a man with a nasty dislocation in his finger sitting next to us, with a younger man. It became apparent very soon the younger one was a carer and the older one was very distressed indeed over having an x ray.

    i don’t know why but I smiled at the man at a moment when his eyes flickered over mine, He was looking at me without looking at me. I just felt like sharing a smile. Without preamble, he asked me if I had hurt my knee, “No ” i said’ and then instantly, “have you hurt your arm?” “No, I..” “have you hurt your…” well we went through a few body parts and I noticed the carer looking a bit apologetic so I made an ‘Its ok” gesture. I then managed to find a moment to say “You have hurt your finger’.

    well, cut a long story short he and I talked for about 40 minutes and suddenly he announces he wil have his x-ray. I have no idea what I said to induce this change of heart. We talked about busses mainly!
    i was feeling pretty pleased I had helped this guy, as you can imagine. Really pleased in fact. I don;t think it was a direct result of anything I said, but somehow I had done…something!

    As they were walking away to x-ray, the carer stopped the other man for a moment and came back to me. He said, “He hasn’t talked to a stranger for 20 years.” He was silently crying as he walked away.

    never felt so…well I don’t know. There is no word.

    1. Wow! So profound. So touching. You changed this man’s life! Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. I will think of this often. There is no word. Thank you for commenting. Hugs ~ Sam 🙂

      1. I just thought! The carer was, I believe, tryng to offer to curtail the chatting if it was what I wanted, a repspectful and thoughtful gesture indeed. But inside he must have not wanted to do so. Inside he must have wanted it to go on and on! wow, ~i only just saw it from that angle. In what must have been a monumentous moment for this man in loving and caring for the other he still was thinking about my feelings. What a guy!

  9. you’re soooo much like me, Sam…in more ways than one…i have a soft spot in my heart for every suffering in this world…i look beyond the color of the skin, age, or walk of life…whatever it may be…that’s a wonderful story! i’m touched by your kindness…being selfless and compassionate!!!! hats off to you!!!! 🙂 you’re a wonderful person!!!! hugsss 🙂

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