Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Lesson in Grit

Here's something you don't find a lot of on this blog - a personal story. I try to stay away from them, partly because I prefer my deepest emotions, thoughts and insecurities are better a private affair, and also because I think they have no meaning or relevance in another's life beyond watching a freak show. This time however, I was moved by the grit of an elderly lady to make my reflections public.

I injured my thumb last Saturday with an embarrassing fall on a dance floor caused by way too many inebriating fluids, as I took down a rather attractive lady who has innocently mistaken my newfound confidence as a measure of competence. The thumb swelled up, and as I struggled with the pain all night, I was in a rather whiny mood Sunday morning. I was staying with a friend's grandparents, and his grandmom did what all grandparents do - try to make me feel better both about the injury and the incident that caused it.

A little later though, she herself took a fall, and came crashing down. She was unable to get up, and we called the paramedics for help. As we waited for relief, here was on old lady with artificial hips, who could barely move her legs and who was clearly in pain, still laughing and joking, teasing me for rubbing off on her, and being so incredibly jovial. Through it all, not once did she complain, beyond calling herself a little silly; there were no screams of pain, and in fact there was a deliberate effort to conceal any she may have been feeling.

I wish I could say I was transformed instantly. Chances are I still will be a wimp the next time I injure myself. Maybe someone should show me this post when I do.


Sowmiya said...

Some times watching/interacting with old people is like a slap across your face asking you to stop whinging! I saw this old man in Safeway (Aus's supermarket chain) once who insisted on doing ALL his shopping without any help. Despite being bent over he was tugging at the toilet paper till it fell into his shopping trolley. Possibly not the best of descriptions but you get the general idea? It was quite amazing to watch his determination at that age. Hope your thumb feels better. S :)

Sowmiya said...

And I 'really' beleive you when you said you didn't watch the beauty pageant and you got it off Drudge (whatever that is?) Haha!