Happy we are starting a new month; giving way to all the natural disasters from hurricanes to forest fires that rampage in September. The human spirit is strong and collectively we will help those who were affected, that they keep on going as they rebuilt their lives.
Over the past few weeks, I bopped around the city within the crowds from the Toronto International Film Festival, and interacted with many; two women remained in my memory. Here is my story:
The bus schedule was directly above the bench where a woman sat. I look at the schedule and soon gazed down at her. My bus was going to arrive in 11 minutes so I sat beside her.
What drew me to her was my aching feet and my curiosity of the brochure she clutched close to her bosom. It was a laminated folder with a godly-like image on the front.
Flashed across my mind – it is a brochure from a retirement home –
The bus station was busy with tween students and she reacted to the length of a girl’s school skirt.
“She is asking for it” I gasp and replied, “Oh no, women should have the freedom to wear what they want and not be labeled.”
Our conversation continued hitting different topics, while she still held the brochure close to her body. Think I asked or was it she who offered, however, she told me that she just came from choosing burial plots for her and her husband. Not sure I was ready for that; see her husband was at Baycrest Hospital in the Palliative Care Unit – he was dying.
Her disposition to me was a person who was accepting her life. We spoke some more until my bus arrived.
Another day while on the bus, I noticed a woman in her late thirties, early forties came in. She was using a walking stick to guide her.
She sat a seat over from me and I commented to her on how wonderful the weather was.
The more we spoke the more my interest grew, for, speaking to her felt like my long lost friend. I made reference to technology today and asked if there were surgeries available to reverse blindness. She told me there was but she did not want to be the test mice. We laugh. What she said after blew me away. She said she lived with blindness since nine and was very content with her life. My brief encounter on this very short bus ride opened my eyes.
Experiencing these women shown me how both accepted the cards they were dealt. Both were facing challenges in life but found their inner peace. Both demonstrated the strength of the human spirit.
As we search for answers and our inner peace, especially in these turbulent times of natural disasters and wars that affect hundreds of thousands, and for our day to day demons, I will quote the words of the Serenity Prayer.
Grant Me the Serenity
To Accept the Things I cannot Change
The Courage to Change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to Know the difference.