Friday, July 1, 2016

And Some Wonder Why

I spend a great deal of time alone. I don't have any family left to call, or visit, or to fill my life. They have died. I've had to learn to be alone, to adjust to finding ways to have a fulfilling life. When I was diagnosed with lupus, I lost many friends. Say it is due to ignorance or fear of catching something you simply cannot catch, but people left. People who use to encourage me, include me in their lives, etc. They simply didn't want to deal with a sick friend. And it hurt me.

When this disease took away my ability to work, I lost more friends.  Even though I worked in a church, once I left it was as if I died. In a way I did.

I've always had bad experiences with neighbors. They were either judgmental, better than me, or spent more time involved on the wrong side of the law. I never involved myself with people like this. I decided I beat myself up enough without letting others do it for me.

So when I returned to Wilmore, I had hoped to find a better quality of people...those who were loving, kind, accepting. Instead I just moved locations. People are the same wherever you go.

But I pushed on. Always being kind and friendly to my neighbors, Doing unto others.

Tonight I stepped out onto my porch to see the neighbors across the street having a July 4th cookout. They had invited the people next door to them, the ones next door to me and the older couple on the other side of me. In fact, I was the only one who had not been invited. Quite frankly it hurt my feelings. I would probably have turned them down, but it would have been nice to have been asked. Quite obvious when you're the only one left out.

There was a sweet couple in the house next to them a year ago. She decided to have a neighborhood barbecue and invite everyone. She walked from house to house inviting everyone. I went to that barbecue even though I didn't know them. Her hospitality was kind. They moved last summer.

I never did get to know those people across the street from me. They are missionaries and have been gone for a few years before moving back last year. Yet they never attempted to get to know me either. The husband always spoke at a distance. But what shut me down was the episode of a small child who was deliberately hurt in their presence. It was last summer. I had walked outside to sweep the porch when I noticed the little girl down the road standing near the street. The girl who lived there had stood up with a large stick in her hand obviously threatening the small child. I was almost to the end of the steps when I saw the mother stand up from behind her vehicle. She had been witness to what had happened and didn't say a word to the small child.

This small girl rides her bike all over the neighborhood. She finds someone to play with every chance she gets. Never rude. Just lonely. When I saw what this family did to this girl, I decided then and there they were treating her this way because of who she was. A poor child who lived in a trailer down the street. Their actions and the mother's lack of action told me all I needed to know about their lack of character and compassion.

Having worked in two churches in my life, I've seen the other side of what goes on. How ministers and leaders mistreat, judge and make fun of people they don't feel are their equals. I guess missionaries are not immune to this type of behavior. I find myself turning away from people in the ministry, preachers, missionaries, etc. because they are just being paid to do a job. Little do they know these people they laugh at, turn away from, make fun of, etc. will be the souls in Heaven.

So I have mixed feelings. It was obviously a deliberate action to leave me out of the loop. Perhaps they thought I was not good enough for their group. Then again, how would they know? They never took the time to get to know me.

Across the street they see someone who has to stay inside most of the time because the weather affects her health so greatly, but they don't know this. Every thing I do is a struggle, from taking out the trash, to attempting to cut the bushes out front, both of which are observed by the neighbors across the street. Yet no one runs to help when I struggle. Sort of like Dothan. I always thought if I passed out in the front yard, no one would help me. I just never thought Wilmore would be so much like Dothan. If you are not useful to someone, they're not interested in knowing you. I guess it must be a world wide sentiment.

And I have no doubt another reason I am left out is I have never been married. You'd think that odd, but couples don't tend to invite single women to events. I'm sure their judgment includes much speculation even though there is nothing to speculate about.

If they had taken time to know me, they would have found out that I was engaged twice in my life. And I'm thankful I never married those two men. They would have found out I spent most of my childhood, teens, twenties and thirties taking care of sick family members until they died and working full time. They would have found out how deathly ill I became after my father's death, the last member of my family, and how most men wouldn't consider spending a lifetime with someone so sick.

But they never did. Instead it was easier to pass judgment and consume themselves with their own families.

Some wonder why I am the way I am. Add up death, disease, loss of health, etc. Add in how people treat others who find themselves different and not at their own doing. A soul can take only so much without it affecting their life.

So if you wonder why someone you know is the way they are, consider my story. And be kind to them. You have no idea where their life has been and what kind of weight they are struggling through.

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