(Photo credit: Sonja Mildner)
Saturday afternoon Darrell and I had our first martial arts class for people with mobility disabilities, which was quite a work out. Definitely more physically exerting than sitting at my computer all day! After only one session, I am feeling more confident in defending myself, at least from physical threats.
With us both being in power chairs, riding home on the bus means sitting across the aisle from each other. Any conversation we do have is overheard by passengers in close proximity.
An older woman was sitting in the one seat in front of me; her rosary beads in her hand. She looked up at Darrell and asked, “You understand her?”
A little shocked, Darrell politely responded, “Yes.”
She continued, “Is she your wife or a friend?”
Darrell replied, “She is my wife.”
Astonished, she asked, “She is really your wife?”
Somewhat annoyed, he confirmed that I was, indeed, was his wife.
At that point, I saw something I hadn’t seen in years: a look pity of washed across her face. Her rosary beads began moving at speed that I didn’t know was humanly possible. I can only imagine what she was praying: Please don’t let me catch this. Please don’t let me catch this. Please let me off the bus before I catch this.
As she left the bus at her stop, I couldn’t help thinking she was another unenlightened soul who probably had led a rather sheltered life. Who should feel for sorry for whom? Darrell and I laughed it off, and continued discussing our class and speculating what we may learn next week.
The condition Terrible Palsy came to mind:
This condition manifests itself through pity and audible sighing of those around you. Terrible Palsy can be deceiving because you can be asymptomatic for weeks, months, or even years, and then just when you and your family are feeling really good about your child [or yourself], it can present itself in the form of a condescending pat on the head or a blessing from an anonymous busybody.
One can learn how to defend against physical attacks. How does one learn to defend against such unseen yet potentially as harmful threats as Terrible Palsy?If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.