And then a hero comes along…

(been relaxing with the running…will update soon on goals for 2010…stay tuned)

Many years ago, a friend of mine called me one of their Heroes. What? What does that mean? She went on to explain that she was reading Joseph Campbell and if you know anything about his writings, he writes about the “heroes” we all have in our lives….at one time of another. Heroes. People who make a significant mark. People who are in our lives for a short stay, a long stay, whatever…however long it lasts…those people who touch our lives in significant ways.

This post is about one of mine.

First, I gotta say how it amuses me when people who aren’t on Facebook get a little freaked out about being on facebook. “I don’t know if i want people from my past contacting me…”  My thought is, I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me who “friends” me on facebook. If I don’t want to talk to you, I will just ignore you. Plain and simple. Anyways. Here is the tie in to my Hero. I found her on Facebook! One morning about 4-5 months ago i guess, I woke up and was just thinking about her and so I looked her up on facebook and there she was…YAY!  The last time I saw her was in 1984. Here’s how she came into my life.

As some of you readers might know, I was in an auto accident when I was a kid and spent a little over a month in the hospital. During that time, I met T.A., a woman who would become one of my “Heroes”. After spending a few days in ICU, I moved up to the 4th floor of Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Ca. Certain things and people I remember quite well. Other things, i am pretty fuzzy about. One thing I remember clearly is how happy I was whenever T.A. was my nurse for a particular shift. I remember her well; short, petite, crazy/wild black hair and amazingly tender and warm. I cannot remember how many times she was actually “my nurse”, I just remember seeing a lot of her and feeling so loved and taken care of. I could see, in her eyes sometimes,  that she wondered about me and what I must be going through…having just lost my mom.

Everything was such an amazing and crazy whirlwind. I was in a car one day and 2 days later, i was in a hospital. To this day,  I have no memory of that “in between’ time period. that’s weird. I guess I am not supposed to remember. One of the first things that happened when I regained consciousness was our church pastor was at my side in the intensive care unit. I asked for my mom and he told me she died. All i remember is looking away and saying “oh, no!” And that right there is all I can recall of expressing any kind of sadness or grief while in the hospital. I truly think I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the physical state I was in and also ENORMOUSLY overwhelmed by the amount of love and kindness I received from so many people, especially all those nurses and doctors who worked tirelessly to make sure I was healing.

I will say it here…on this blog…T.A. was my favorite. And I felt like I was a favorite of hers, too. We just kinda had a connection, ya know. Sometimes you just can’t explain it…but even then, I knew that she was someone vital. She moved fast, she was passionate about her work and she was fiery. She made me laugh. She was very giving and sincere and I felt like I had never  TRULY seen that kind of behavior before. I didn’t really understand a lot of what was happening to me at that time, but I was wise enough to let all her goodness in.

After about 5 weeks, I was released from the hospital but still remained in a full body cast. Ugh. THAT was an experience. Especially trying to go to the bathroom. LOL! One of the things I did while in my body cast was go visit T.A. and her daughter at their place in Berkeley. I was in a reclining wheelchair so the whole experience was crazy, but fun! I still have a photo of myself and her daughter sitting in bed, laughing. One of the best photos of my youth!

Soon after that, she moved away to NYC and I was crushed. Again, I don’t remember a lot of detail, I just remember that feeling of loss. Of pain.

OK. So. Fast forward. The facebook connection. I contacted T.A. and she wrote back. “Finding” each other on facebook has been very cool. And recently we have spoken by phone. It was strange to hear voice after what, 26 years! I almost said to her “you sound different”, but then I thought to myself how do you know what she sounds like??  She asked me some questions about some things that happened way back when and it was very strange to talk to someone about my life who was actually there at the time. Part of what kinda sucks now is that there isn’t anyone around who has the same history as I do so trying to recall some of the past can feel very lonely and frustrating, at times. Talking to T.A., someone who knew me when… was healing and validating, among other things. Her tenderness was the same… she has that same tenderness in her voice.

So. Here was this person whose path I crossed and who crossed mine. She gave from the heart and I got it. When she left the bay area, obviously I thought I’d probably never see her again. She has been someone I have never forgotten. That’s just how it is with some people. Ya know.  For whatever reason, our paths have crossed again. it might be for a month, a year, or however long. I’m just glad. Truly glad!

For T.A. and all the “heroes” past and present in my life. Thank you. You know who you are.

One Response to “And then a hero comes along…”

  1. Great read! happy to have you as a tweeter friend and looking forward to meeting later on today.

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