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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BLACKHAWK DOWN: Confessions of A Dirty Shirt

Hey y'all, it got hot today, yeah, we didn't escape the record-breaking "last gasp of summer" and are roasting in Seattle.

My shirt hasn't been washed in a month. I use it for a napkin. Who has energy to go get one? All the meals I've had are wiped on it. It resembles a Jackson Pollock painting...a volunteer may come Friday to help. I've never been this filthy before, outside of backpacking trips...and even then we could always find high country lakes to splash about in...i really stink but am too weak to shower or bathe and the place hasn't been retrofitted with grab bars and stuff yet. I'm disgusting. Laundry room is way down in the parking garage. For the entire building, three old washers, two dryers, none of them accessible. Guinea pig cages are cleaner. (And always will be, if we have to make a choice with precious little energy.)

There's no photos with this post, just felt like rambling about tiny things...little losses and amusements, the cultural vocabulary POI and I are developing...he's a Veteran of the U.S. Military, so whenever i fall down in the apartment and he hears a 
Ka-LUMP! it's usually followed by a puny: "Blackhawk Down."
(In reference to the 1993, tragedy in Mogadishu, Somalia, in which 2 Blackhawk helicopters were shot down...)  POI and I watch lots of documentaries and military films together because he explains, too often first-person, the nuances and subtleties sacrificed by our Service men and women: those who served and those serving now...his co-worker pitches for the "Wounded Warriors" softball team and is the only amputee on the team who made his own prosthetic leg. They received a standing ovation after playing First Responders of Boston following the Boston Marathon Bombing once children amputees joined them on the field at historic Fenway was amazing - and he totally had the coolest leg out there! We are so proud of him. 

It's still 9/11, isn't it?  Are we at war in Syria yet? I checked "The Daily Show" from last night, but am afraid of The Nightly News. 

Thing is: this is such a great country! I just have problems knowing that some of the men and women sleeping beneath the roaring Interstate are wounded not, have not received the care they deserve and are entitled to...yes, POI reminds me how fortunate I am to have an apartment, but it isn't a home until THEY HAVE HOMES, TOO! Food doesn't taste good when they are hungry two blocks away. It's agonizing, falling through gaping cracks in our severely flawed medical system living in housing not conforming to the "Americans With Disabilities Act" or "Fair Housing" laws but by the Grace of God, at least i HAVE HOUSING AND FOOD!

POI told me to quit calling my doctor "Barbie." He's a very respectful person. He's a better person than I am. 
(Would it be wrong just to say "I have Tourettes Syndrome and don't mean every snarky thing that comes out of my mouth...and, yes, I can tell by the expression on your face I DID SAY THAT OUT LOUD, DIDN'T I?") 

So many have no doctors at all. So many too proud to admit they need help. So many who served and are serving, both here and overseas...our flags at half mast, our country still at war, wounded warriors walk invisibly amongst us, unrecognized for their valor.

POI just walked in so now it's safe to get out of bed and cash in frequent flyer miles for a flight to the bathroom...

Outside flags still fly half-mast and as sad as I feel at 5 a.m. every morning when I wake up realizing "This is NOT A DREAM? For REAL?" I feel sadder for our veterans. POI makes legs for them.
Their stories put my situation into perspective. A very different perspective. 

Every time I fall and eek out "Blackhawk Down," POI wakes up and picks me up or at least gets me comfortable on the floor until we can get me back into bed: How many never get picked up? Have no beds? What happened to LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND?

Our warriors are proud. They served and serve with dignity and courage; they and their families, our families sacrifice lives to preserve freedoms we take for granted.

It's still 9/11: America, "BLACKHAWK DOWN!" Please...
pick us up. 

{Update - since this writing, "Blackhawk Down" events are increasingly becoming "sheltering in place" events. We were taught by the Transitions to Hospice Team how to get cozy with the floor. TRANSITIONS folks are indescribably AMAZING!  Moving from "Blackhawk Down" moments which end up getting lovingly tucked back into bed to "Sheltering-in-Place" events in which the floor becomes the bed are details, such tiny losses, yet - taken together - represent a gradual disintegration of life that comes out easier in tears, cannot be spoken of, requiring so much vulnerability to reveal, explaining why I write, re-write, remove, delete, even replace posts like a real Whack! Because this IS WHACK!
Such intense vulnerability frightens me initially until it becomes part of the warp-and-woof of life and we pay no mind.
But, it's a process. Thank you sincerely, readers all, for your profound forbearance...} 



  1. Thank you for bringing such an important fact to the forefront of consciousness. I thank you for sharing your life as you live it. Please give Chai extra head scritches from me. Gentle hugs to you, piggies and blessings for E...n aka POI.

  2. LOL, yeah POI is so "anonymous!" Marifan, this writing is, as I emailed you, truly difficult due to the level of vulnerability required to "Blog On" yet when a comment such as yours appears I feel the trepidation, hesitation, insecurity of it all pays off recognizing I am not travelling this ALONE! And never did...never was, ALONE, with friends like you in my life. Thank you so much!