Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a
"challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as
well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.
December 9, 2000
It was kind of AIDS Day for me. I kind of got off schedule when Peggy was here and hadnt resumed a regular routine for driving Breaking Barrier clients, so Ive just kind of been doing it whenever the need was. Thus, today I was doing multiple duty.
I started out by picking up X, one of my favorite clients. She was moving slowly this morning. I wish I could just cut this butt off, she laughed, as she struggled to get into the car. This lovely woman has AIDS, colon cancer, and was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. In addition, she has some sort of problem, which may be bone cancer, which causes her legs to burn all the time.
Shes a wonder. Her cheerfulness never fails to inspire me. Even though life is beating her pretty badly right now, she continues to give me a smile and a hug at the end of our ride. Her mother recently had a stroke and is paralyzed on one side. Her sister was just sent back to jail for drugs. The sisters kids were taken by Child Protective Services. Now Xs daughter in Southern California was also arrested and so X will be taking in her five grandchildren, age 5 to 14, for an indefinite period of time. This has caused her to put off her cancer treatments, an act which the doctor tells her could cost her her life. With all that she has going on, she talked about the problems of the world and how she wished she had a magic wand so that she could make everyone happy, and she thanks the lord for all he has given her.
After we left the clinic, we went looking for a bed frame for her, since her bed had just collapsed (we didnt find one), and then I took her down to the jail to visit her grandson, whom she had not seen for two weeks. X gives me a different perspective on life, for sure.
I went to Breaking Barriers to visit for a bit and talk about X and her problems. Were trying to find a bed frame for her and our family will adopt her family to help bring them a happy Christmas, since X has no money for toys for the kids. Weve found some place that will bring dinner for the group. We hope we can make at least one day a little brighter for all of them.
I was supposed to meet with A, but he never called me. A was the guy I had been assigned to a year or more ago, my one-to-one emotional support. We used to meet on a weekly basis. A doesnt want advice. He just wants someone to listen to him. He tends to whine a lot and he knows what he needs to do to make his life less painful, but he would rather talk about it instead. His therapist just gave up on him, so hes now back talking to me.
I dont mind listening to him. Its only a couple of hours out of my day every week or so and he seems to feel better when he leaves. Nothing ever changes, but he seems to be happy (in an odd sort of way) in his little rut. Kind of sad, actually, that hes willing to stay where he is so unhappy when if hed take a chance on something better, he might end up being so much happier.
But anyway, I had scheduled him in for our coffee, and he never called, so that left me with extra time to spend with T, another one-to-one assignment. Shes going through a rough period right now too. Shes been hospitalized several time with kidney problems and yesterday had three teeth extracted, so she was in a bit of pain today. I had told her Id come and help her learn something about her new computer. It turns out that their neighbor decided to work on it and so screwed the thing up that it had to go back to Gateway to be reconfigured.
Instead we talked about the upcoming holidays and gradually our attention got drawn to a movie, No Place to Land which was on TV. It was a pretty predictable bomb on the plane movie, but gripping enough that we ended up watching the whole thing. Totally implausible ending, but the world got saved in time for me to make it home for lunch.
It had been awhile since Id spent the whole day immersed in the AIDS community and borrowing pieces of peoples lives. It always helps to put your own concerns in perspective. I came home and called Steve, newly returned from his latest AIDS education tour. I needed to tell him how blessed I am to have him in my life.