So, this afternoon my son and I were eating at Subway in our neighborhood Walmart, when a turbaned lady (and her shopping cart) was led shakily to the seat next to us. She immediately dropped her turquoise covered head to her lap and quietly threw up on the floor. Her face was covered in a faint sheen of perspiration and she did not raise her eyes even when a kindly Walmart employee came to tell her that her husband was being paged. He approached quickly and gently wiped her face with a napkin before the Subway manager brought her a wet paper towel and invited her to wash her hands.
I did my best not to give the situation much obvious attention, but my heart went out to them. Of course my imagination filled in as many blanks as possible, what with her head wrapped in a colorful cloth and the evidence of her physical condition. I silently prayed that the chemo/radiation was helping and that her nausea will disappear soon.
What is the proper attitude to have when confronted with an obvious physical weakness? It is difficult to hide some diseases and physical ailments and that creates awkward reactions. I wanted to hug that lady and tell her that "things would be okay", but it wasn't my place and none of my business. I just wanted her to know that someone cares. Even a complete stranger.
Fortunately my MS is not always apparent unless it's one of those days that require my cane. I try to assume a low profile and not draw attention to myself. Some folks aren't that lucky and sometimes that attention just adds insult to injury when staying out of the public light is made impossible.
As soon as the area had been tidied and the turbaned woman's husband had his wife and the cart under control, they walked gingerly off to resume their shopping. I heard him comment affectionately, "That's my girl" and I had to smile; but the incident had left its mark on me. I wrapped the remains of my sandwich in Subway paper for my son to toss into the trash with his empty food container.
Even though my appetite had found an untimely interruption, I reminded myself of the beauty of human motivation. God bless that lovely lady and God bless her loving husband. They will be fine.
God doesn't throw us more than we can catch.