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Something Unexpected

Posted Sep 01 2010 12:00am
I’m at home almost the whole day now – alone. My son goes to school from 9 to 3. Under normal circumstances you would say: “Hey! Great! What else do you want? You can relax the whole day.” But it is not like that at all. Like with any motor activity you have to practice, to improve. Well staying home alone doesn’t provide me with the best of conversation opportunities. So I have to be among people, conversing with people, yet I am not ready to work. Out of four main arteries that supply my brain, one is completely blocked, one is working at 20% level, when I lack sleep my heart and vascular system work overtime. So for example when I get a cold or flu, best course of action for me is to lie down and wait it over (given the six different medications I’m already taking), instead of taking two paracetamols a going to work. It is a matter of survival I guess.
So for the moment going to a workplace is not an option. I inquire about possible volunteering opportunities: at the local library (no: the only position is shelving books), at the office of my speech therapist (no: we only employ professionals), at my Condo’s management office (no: we don’t do volunteers – which is a mystery to me as they certainly can do with some help around the office). At the local YMCA (Please fill in this form and we will call you)…
I thought that with my work credentials, doors for volunteering would be wide open, so much so that I would have a hard time picking and choosing. Well, so much for being overwhelmed by offers…
Finally my son’s school’s founder/principle agrees for me to come to the office to help. My son goes to a Montessori school – Lone Oak Montessori of MD. It is managed by this very dedicated, very delightful young lady of 75 years. She has a soft spot in her heart for my condition because her husband of many years, suffered from a brain attack like mine, 15 ago, just as they were ready to retire. They did have plans and all for their new life and this happened. He didn’t die, but was left painfully handicapped on the left side of his body, and lost his speech. Later on he taught himself to sign language, and could speak with his wife again. Our principle calls him affectionately, “My computer”, as he is so smart. (Bob Swan has since passed away in 2008. God bless his soul).
So I start volunteering at Lone Oak Montessori School. After I say farewell to my son at the classroom door, I start at the desk in the corridor that doubles as an office. I had thought that in the mornings, while the staff is busy at the door, I could answer the phone or give messages to people. Contrary to my expectations, though, there are no phone calls. Everything seems to be running smoothly here. The office at the main campus seems to be handling everything. Hmmm. So what work can I do here? Staff and teachers go out of their way to create me some work. One day I cut paper to size, next day I am in the gluing business. I love helping this way, and God knows they need help. But speaking opportunities while cutting pink 3”x5” s is quite limited, it is all manual work. At the same time I have made a commitment…
I must start looking at other speaking opportunities while fulfilling my commitment at my son’s school.
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