Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oak Hill Cemetery

I wanted to write about my day. And yet I'm not quite sure how significant this day was. I'm getting very grateful for the scan't four hours that I spend teaching every week. despite my insecurities, I find that I'm able to lead a group of people following someone else's lesson plan, and get some small satisfaction out of watching people learn.

Now, teaching English is really not all that complicated, especially when the lessons come out of a book, and I do have some history developing a competency in the subject matter. I do speak English fairly well. But this process- watching people follow a lesson plan, watching people get distracted, in developing strategies to keep focused-helps me to stay entertained while helping people develop a new skill. simply, having never done this before, I do find this to be a clumsy process.

I left Sacred Heart earlier today. I hopped on a bus, and found myself a place to eat. I wandered about Target's aisles with no intention of purchasing anything. I decided to go home. Now target is located in a shopping center called The Plant. When I cross the street I realized that I was at the Oak Hill cemetery . Yesterday was all Saints day, and today is All Souls Day, all blended in with the Dia de Los Muertos.

It just seemed perfectly natural for me to want to go in. I hadn't planned on it. I just decided that on All Souls Day it made sense to visit the cemetery. The people at the cemetery told me that they opened-meaning they started burying dead people there-probably around 1850. In 160 years I got to believe that a lot of people have found there final resting spot at this location. This includes in my case, my grandparents, and a number of friends. So, I do not feel bad when I forget where people are buried. I know several people who visit their relatives on a regular basis and I just don't have the history of doing that.

I found the main office of the cemetery. I told one lady inside that I wanted to locate a grave, and she copied down the names, disappearing down the hall to an office. She eventually came back to me, with a map in hand, and showed me the way to Veterans Park, a section where I guess many veterans are buried. All of the men buried in this section, were buried in 1970. I found the grave, spent some time in quiet, and prepared to leave.

I suppose all this when it just seemed like some silly quiet reflection, but there was an action sequence. I found myself most reflective about the fact that I last visited here on two feet. My exit was prompted not so much by my quiet reflection or prayer; I decided to leave when I realized I needed to go to the bathroom. The motors on my chair whirresd and whined. I I could feel my chair almost sluggish in the loose dirt and grass. I rolled my chair all the way to the meeting point between the the grass and the pavement.

An old cemetery like this has the benefits of having several visitors on a regular basis. when my wheelchair hit that meeting point, I discovered that my chair did not want to move anymore; it was stuck. I quickly surrendered myself to the fates. I knew that I was powerless at that moment. I also knew that I still had to go to the bathroom. My eyes scanned the roads separating the different fields of gravestones. sweat was breaking out of my forehead . I was no longer fixated on anything except finding someone to help me.One-hundred yards away, I saw a woman driving in a car, slowly.

I started waving. I started waving with both hands, and that car slowed down even more. Eventually, the car turned around and drove closer to where I was. The lady began by just staring at me, and I called out to her, explaining that I could not move. She came to my rescue. By leveraging her body against the back of my chair she was able to provide it just enough weight that I was able to force myself back up onto the sidewalk. I thanked her and I thanked her again. I then expedited my exit to the office building where a public restroom is available. (okay so it's not much of an action sequence). Another tragedy avoided.

Thank you for reading.

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