Friday, December 4, 2009

The Season: Time for Love

We are entering that time of year when some of us have a little more room in our hearts and perhaps a little more gratitude for the small things. Daughter Linea, she of the bipolar gremlins, is wrestling with a push-back from this challenge in her life. She is fighting hard against all the symptoms insidiously trying to sneak back into her life while finishing winter quarter of her last year in college. She is working on writing a "senior synthesis", a paper that breaks her heart while she looks back over her last years of college. She is studying for finals, completing all the paperwork for graduation, etc. etc. I drove her to the medical center for a blood draw today so that she didn't have to hassle with either the bus or parking as the area around the center is under massive construction. She was exhausted after a night of terrorizing nightmares and certainly not thrilled about the blood tests that go along with the medications she takes. I drove her back to her apartment and headed to campus for my own set of responsibilities while feeling worried about her and wanting to use my magic mother skills and make everything okay. As I drove her home she pointed out the bundled, bag-laden, elderly homeless guy on the street, a regular in her neighborhood. As I dropped her off I again offered to take her out for coffee or breakfast but she planned to have a bowl of cereal and get ready for her day. But she had no milk. She walked down to her local in-and-out to buy some milk and there was her homeless neighborhood man digging through his pack, trying to find a few pennies. She bought her milk...and some protein bars and water for the old man living on the streets, telling him to save his coins. A large percent of our community members who are homeless are mentally ill. We know how lucky we are to have the resources for health care and that we are able to treat Linea's health condition. Linea was hospitalized with many, many people that were released from the hospital to the streets. She was often overwhelmed by the inequity in care and support as she faced this up close and personal. Today she reminded me that even in our own lives, touched with worry and illness, there are those who manage with much, much less. In this season let's give to someone on the street, someone perhaps living with untreated mental illness. Something as simple as a power bar and a bottle of water, perhaps a hot meal,or time spent volunteering for an afternoon in a shelter. My daughter has taught me not to turn away, not to ignore a person living on the streets. I look, I speak, and acknowledge although I have to admit that it has been easier in the past to ignore a fellow human being as I rushed through my life. It is the season to notice, to give, to love.

16 comments:

Corrie Howe said...

Lovely written post. I'm finding as I get older that it is harder for me to judge others, realizing 'but for the grace of God, go I.'

Bethany said...

Thoughtful post. Thank you for the reminder.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the beautiful reminder. We live in such a strange culture, where movies about vampires make hundreds of millions of dollars in a couple of days while tens of thousands of lost souls wander the streets alone.

pixiemama said...

It's hard NOT to be overwhelmed by the disparity and despair of the homeless. We are very thankful to have homes, jobs, food on the table. My husband and I both went through job losses this year. It was SO DIFFICULT on me, being bipolar (but not knowing it). Now that I have a diagnosis and the Seroquel is working quite well, I can see that things are going very well for us, and that we truly survive those bumps in the road.

I know how your daughter feels. It could so easily be us. So easily.

xo

erika said...

I love your posts so much, Cinda. I'm thinking of you and Linea as she is battling the nightmares and demons of her bipolar disorder. And I'm so very glad that she has a wonderful support system behind her. You do have magic mother skills, and even if they don't provide instant relief, they certainly work.

Accidental Expert said...

A wonderful post indeed! What a beautiful, compassionate daughter you have too.

Wonderful thoughts going into the holiday season.

jdcoughlin said...

Cinda, what a beautiful girl, in her own busy life and still stopping and helping. What a woman. They do make us proud. I remember when they opened up the door and released the mentally ill in San Francisco years ago, and I know that many wanted to be out, and should have the choice, but it is so hard to see those that don't, those that have no choices.

Nancy Campbell said...

"The season to notice." That is lovely, and I hope that we could extend this season throughout the year.

I've been meaning to check out your blog for ages, having heard of you via Corrie and Erika. Beautiful words.

Cinda said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. Erika, you remind me that we all have magic mother skills and we can bring out the reserves when we need to. Most of you have children that have their own set of needs and you spend every day doing your best to support them. Even though the minute to minute work of taking care of a baby or a toddler changes the love only grows. I am lucky. Thank you again!

Meg said...

One lovely thing about bipolar kids/people is that they often have such a huge aptitude for empathy as they experience the world in such a raw form they are really able to see themselves in others without the filters that us chronically normal people often use. It's really a gift.

Menopausal New Mom said...

What a beautifully written post. I hope your daughter is doing better, how heartbreaking for a mom to not be able to make it better. We get so used to that as they grow up. You're right, it is so easy to get sucked up in our own lives and ignore those around us. Thank you for posting!

therextras said...

If not for the specific task of giving to one person, I think your daughter comes by her kindness more naturally than you think (ie you are kind, too) and by learning from you. What a mutually kind relationship you have - taking care to drive her to reduce her stress while she shares her kindness towards others.

And then you post it and we all benefit. Barbara

Corrie Howe said...

I've left something for you at my post, come by and get it when you have a chance.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I, too, often rush through my life. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to notice others.

Anonymous said...

Admiration and respect are not earned easily; but you certainly have mine! As Emerson once wrote...."It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great woman is she, who in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...

LOVE this!!!