Once upon a time, there was a little girl that lived in a FEMA trailer, who, at a very young age, was exposed to anything from black mold on the walls to water leaks from the ceiling to holes in the floors. There were mice, snakes, roaches, wasps, flies, ants, and other creatures who shared this space. There were neighbors who struck their wives, relied on alcohol to get through the day, and pretended their daughters were not actually their daughters past bedtime.
The little girl was lucky. She was treated well and loved fiercely by her mother and father. She loved grilled cheese sandwiches and learned to tolerate condensed milk without complaining. She got in trouble only sometimes, like when she said “Amen” out loud after the closing prayer in church. Her mother quickly spanked her leg and cut her eyes at her whispering, “Never do that again.” She didn’t understand why the men could say it loudly, even interrupt! She never understood why women couldn’t be equal.
She didn’t understand a lot of things, but she wanted to try. She always did her best to try. She tried to always be her best. She made good grades, played aggressively in sports, learned to paint and sew, learned as much as she could. She met as many people as she could along the way so that she could keep learning. She desperately just wanted to figure it all out.
Most recently, this now grown woman tried very hard to understand why her boss would say something that she felt was pure evil. She was being scolded for not collecting a patient’s co-pay in full since they had a balance. But she understands what it’s like to not have a lot, and she isn’t one to be too pushy about money issues.
“I don’t care if these people are suicidal- they better pay us something.”
She didn’t say anything in response. She just sat there, looking back at her bright computer screen.
Is this what it feels like to be blind?
Sometimes, she thinks she would prefer being hungry again, surrounded by black mold and cockroaches.
Anything is better than this.
What is heaven on earth? May I get an amen?