While walking home from the Newark light rail after work and therapy aimed at helping me recover from a concussion, a young man passed me. As soon as I noticed his eyes following me, I clutched my cane. (Don’t judge me: I’m a New Yorker who lives in Newark. Anything is possible)
As I got two blocks away in front of the high school I could hear footsteps closing in on me. I slowed down and I whipped around. I glared but I suppose the sunglasses I’ve been using to cope with my light sensitivity blocked my eyes. Still, my hostility was apparent. I relaxed slightly when I realized it was the same young man who passed me before.
“I just wanted to say you look good,” he uttered. “You’re beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I replied as I kept walking.
“Guess you don’t want to go out some time. Well have a good day.”
I’m old enough to be his mother or at least her friend, I thought. All the high school girls around here and he stopped me with my grey hairs, cane and bags. How odd?
As soon as I got home, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, why not me? Despite my physical issues, I try to allow my joy and love of life to shine. Perhaps that’s what attracted him? No matter what I was pleased to be reminded I may be older and chronically ill but I’m not dead.
#igg4 #spoonies #autoimmunedisease #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #disability #2018 #joythroughthepain #concussion #newark