Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reality Bites!

Well this week has been a doozy, but compared to what? I guess its a good question.  I feel that in life I do my best to look at things on the bright side and to make the most of any situation...I think.  However, lately (or since I arrived in Zimbabwe), its been different.  I am not sure where the "off" part comes in, but something is completely "off".  This is our 7th move in almost 7 years of marriage, but I'm used to this stuff. I mean my Dad was in the Army, we moved around ALL the time.  I moved 9 times before I was 14, and then moved another three times during and after college. I suppose it gets in your blood, who knows? I did however say I would never marry anyone in the Army. Although Tom is not in the Army...Oops.  Ha Ha

Anyway, my point is...adjustments are difficult. I feel I can cope with them fairly well, but this time it has been harder than most.  Is it because I'm older? Because I spent so much time with my family last year? Because I spent a whole year away from Tom last year? Because living in Africa...is just different (to say the least).  Or maybe, the kids are just different, growing up, doing new and different things, and I'm just having a harder time with it all?? Who knows.

I decided this time to open up myself to what is actually happening around me, what these people are like, what they have been through and then...it started to get a little bit harder.  I can often do my best to try and look away at things or else I feel I might be crying all the time about what I have seen or what is close enough to me to see. I watched a documentary the other day on Zimbabwe...and it was really hard to watch. And yes, I was balling my eyes out empathizing with these people and all they have gone through...AND still are going through today.  I cant imagine. 

I grew up in a great home, with loving parents and was always given anything I needed. We were your basic, normal, middle class family (kind of). Ha  But, at the time...it was normal for me, I was never without. But then you come to these places and you see that everyone is...without, making ends meet- but barely. They are struglling day in and day out.  Its hard for them I know, and its hard to see.  I feel guilty at times, and especially now how lucky we are with our family.  We are given this beautiful home, we have plenty to eat, we ar healthy, we have all we need...and yet, I still feel at a loss.  I know many people that go through their own struggles, some are very close relatives and close friends.  One of my friends just recently got divorced and has a child with Autism.  Her attitude is something so admirable. And when I get down, I often think of her. Thanks Lisa!!  I think of the people around the world, losing their homes, or dealing with disasters...often. Am I just not able to shut it out? My heart seems to not be able to take so much these days. I have a really hard time separating it all.

This past Saturday my housekeeper, Elizabeth, had a Diabetic Coma.  After an hour of her husband trying  to get in touch with us as he did not have our number, Tom finally made it over to check on her.  She lives on our property.  I sat crying wondering if she was even alive as we had no idea what was going on, and I decided to go over and check. She was unresponsive, eyes wide open, could not move, nothing. I did my best to keep her calm as she was breathing such short breaths, but she was breathing. Again, we did not know what had happened and thought it could have been a stroke.  I stroked her head with a washcloth and talked to her calmly telling her it would be OK, when honestly...I had no idea.  She started groaning and actually moving a bit and then squeezed my hand. I felt there was hope. Finally the ambulance came, we told them her ailments, and then they checked her blood sugar. It was barely anything at that point.  They then injected her with sugar (or whatever it is you give for someone in this condition) and she began to slowly come out of it...and back to herself.  IT WAS SCARY!!!  I am not a nurse, I do not see things like this often, so for me...it was a bit intense for someone whom we have now known for only 6 months, but is of course now part of our family.  She is now doing much better and resting and I can hardly believe it even happened.  But, it did. For Tom, he has seen plenty in the last few years, but I think that was hard to see for him too. It was also, personal. 

Are these the things that throw me off a little? Is it that I have now seen three random dead people on the side of the road (the kids also seeing one which I hate)? That I have been chased down and cut off by a complete stranger after not using my turn signal? Or is that when I supposedly ran a light the other day, the police pulled me over and then said, I will let you go this time, but the next time...you will be arrested??? What?? Its different here to say the least, or maybe I have just opened my eyes and myself to it more. Who knows? 

All I can really say is sometimes ... Reality BITES!!!

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