Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rainy Day

It's a VERY rainy day here in Kansas City this Saturday. Working at Habitat for Humanity, this is generally our busiest, craziest day but not this week. We had a whole 10 people come to volunteer this morning (there had been around 45 signed up). Granted, when it's raining this hard with thunder and lightning, there's only so much work that can be done and two of our sites are primarily outdoor work. Still, it's quiet here today - a little too quiet and it has me thinking about the week...

Two family members of mine came down with meningitis this week, and another friend is losing her battle to brain cancer. Coworkers have been having problems with communication and expectations and I feel like I've just been watching all of this go on around me while I'm just sitting still trying to stop the scene spinning around me. Lines of class and race and health are very blurred right now, and I'm not sure where I fit in the picture.

As an AmeriCorps member, I'm technically a volunteer with very limited income, but I feel wierd about taking food from our food pantry here at the Habitat office. Why? Perhaps because I know I don't really need it (Trouble's income and my little bit mean we have enough for what we need) and it would better serve someone else, or perhaps because of my own pride or judgements about what it means to take or need to take from a food pantry. I don't honestly know - probably all of that mixed up together. The other AmeriCorps folks who work here have no problem helping themselves to things - nor does most of the paid staff, so what's my deal? Do I really think I'm somehow better or more ethical than these people? OUCH.

My brother is sick. My mother in law is sick. My friend is sick. And yet I've been whining all week about a couple of canker sores that sit in my cheek right where my teeth rub on them all day. I haven't had to go the hospital or get a spinal tap; no needles, no pills, no dr. even. How do I focus on how good I have it and grieve for my loved ones at the same time? How do I help my partne who is stressed out and grieving more than I am without ratcheting up the anxiety and stress already present? I know I'm rambling - I'd appreciate your insights as I try to process...

6 comments:

Rachael said...

Try some chamomile tea for your mouth.

Big Unit said...

The Units will be praying for you & Trouble. Is that Trouble's friend from the guard?

mandyc said...

the mouth sores are better (thanks for the advice on that) and Unit, yes, this is Trouble's good friend from her first deployment. It's not looking good. We'll be in OKC the for a baby shower on the 28th and are really hoping she holds out that long so we can say goodbye.

Big Unit said...

I know you guys are always busy when you come but we would love to see you.

Wayne Stratz said...

stopped back to see if you had seen "across the universe" Your heart is with those around you who are suffering, so I would be gentle with yourself about those canker sores or what ever else is causing you to complain this week. A canker sore does not become fun just because it is not as serious as someone else's suffering. as for accepting food, again it seems as a ranking of suffering and need. If you are in need and health concerns exist for your family, then it doesn't matter if someone else is suffering more. It is like vetoing a bill because it means someone who isn't terribly poor wants health care for their child. be gentle. have you seen the movie?

mandyc said...

Hey Wayne, thanks for stopping back by. :) No, I haven't gotten to see the movie. It never showed here in Kansas City. I know it will only be a matter of time before it comes out to rent and I'll get to see it then. Have you seen it? THanks for the kind words...