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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Questions and Water

For those of you that don’t know, I live on a farm. That bit of information may answer many questions for a lot of you. Last night my honey comes in and begins to explain, “the well has stop working." I reply "ok honey".
When I don’t understand what my honey is talking about I reply with "ok honey".
His statement didn’t mean much to me, until I got in the shower this morning.

Just a few drops trickle out of the nozzle, as I stand fully soaped.
The shower head, struggles to spit out the last bit of water. I begin to consider asking more questions when I encounter something I don’t understand.

I survive the water less shower and head to town. I am scheduled to meet a new neighbor. I really love this part of my life. I love seeing the new faces and learning their story. I arrive at the school and park, before I go in I decide to look in the mirror. I glance at my hair and decide it doesn’t look too bad, considering I didn't have enough water to rinse out the shampoo.

As I enter the school, I begin looking for the check in desk. I am greeted by a counselor. She extends her hand and I express how happy I am to meet her. She leads me to the room I am looking for, and I respond with “thank you”. As I walk in I see a small frail stature. It is a young lady, she slowly lifts her head. No eye contact is made and that tells me one thing, I must ask the right questions.  As she looks my way all I can mutter is, "Wow you sure are pretty". She looks at me and smiles.

I begin by talking of my morning shower and ask if they would like a hug. I can see that this puts her at ease. We talk basics as I fill out a form. Our facilitator is called out of the room and it gives me some time to ask the more questions. First I ask of her little one and her eyes sparkle as she responds. I ask if she is married or single and she begins to speak of her life.

We get to the question when I ask what the last grade completed is. I see shame and she quickly blurts, "I was being touched by my mother’s boyfriend". She continues, "I didn’t have a choice, I had to leave". Then she tells me she finished the 8th grade and my heart weakens.

I ask where she works and she looks like she is going to cry but she replies anyway, "I am a dancer”. I tell her, if I looked like you I would probably dance too". She smiles. I begin to tell her my friend Donna's story and I notice her posture is changing. I tell her we will start with whatever she feels comfortable with and she nods in agreement.

She has signed up to work on her GED but she tells me she struggles with reading and would really like to start there. I tell her that would be great. We talk more and she says "maybe I can learn how to use a computer". I tell her of course she will, well because all nurses need to learn how to work a computer. She smiles again and my heart is warmed once more.

My day continues as I sit in my office. It is now 4:00 and I am just eating my lunch. Through the wall I can hear a baby. It doesn't take long before I abandon my food to get up and go ask some questions. It is a mommy and 14th month old baby that sit in my lobby. I make my way and sit in a chair next to them.

They became homeless after her husband lost his job and nothing has been quite the same since. I tell her I will sit with her for a while. I pick up the baby and notice that this baby hasn’t been bathed. I glance at the momma and decide her hair looks somewhat like mine. The struggle of no water.

Todd enters the room with milk and diapers in hand. My pain is obvious without words being uttered. He comes near, sits on the floor and calls this little one over. I watch as his gold locks settle in Todd's arms. With big beautiful blue eyes the baby looks towards his mom, as if to ask for permission to play. Still no words and yet the burden is understood. He hands the child a small white bear, the child reaches for it and embraces with strength. No child should have this struggle. This baby has been doing without milk, only because the right questions hadn't been asked.
Our hearts are heavy, it is five and we get to go home.

May you always have many questions and plenty of water.
Elia Moreno

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