Always a Reason
Almost everything we do makes a difference to something or someone. Every action has a reaction and leads to something else. We may never be aware of it, but oddly everything means something. If we look back we can see how one thing led to the other and hopefully it helps us make made better choices in the moment. Instead of thinking about our every action maybe we can just do what keeps things level. Survival is what it is all about and we can't do it alone. Think of what you want then go from there.
The apartment complex we lived in was nice but it looked more like a ground level motel than anything else. It had a pool and laundry room and a live-in manager. We had a two bedroom unit at the street side so it was a convenient, friendly and comfortable place. Being a military family we had to move quite often so a nice find was always appreciated. There were nice neighbors - some military, some local - and everyone was polite and friendly, including the Doctor from Guatemala, his wife (a nurse), their two baby girls, and the Doctor's mother. I found it very interesting that this Doctor and his nurse wife would travel to America every summer to work at a hospital then go home and use the money they earned to support the medical clinic they had in Guatemala. They both spoke fluent English and were absolutely beautiful. No kidding, they could have been movie stars, but instead they were just kind and caring people with the goal of helping others. They had not let having children hold them down in any way. They brought his mother with them to take care of the girls while the parents worked over 12 hours a day, six days a week. But Mama did not speak a word of English, so I felt very lucky I had taken some Spanish language classes in school beause it meant I was able to help her if she needed me.. And, one day she did, they all did.
There was a car accident. The doctor's left hand was mangled. His wife was shaken up but not badly hurt, but now her life had totally changed. The main bread-winner of the family was out of commission for a while and would be unable to do surgery, but the Mom-nurse still had a job, a mother-in-law, and two baby girls to take care of. I stepped in. I took in the two year old and four month old little girls when needed while nurse and MaMa took care of the Doctor and tried to get life in order again. Language never did get in the way. My two year old girl, Dee, played with Elizabeth (who they called Leezy), and the 4 month old baby laid in the crib with my 6 month old and there was never a problem. Leezy and my little girl played outside in front of the house just being kids playing with dolls and making mud-pies. Every time I checked on them I heard them chattering and laughing, Leezy in Spanish and Dee in English and when I went out to make sure they were not getting mud in the wrong places Dee explained to me what Leezy meant and why they were laughing. A pair of two-year-olds that did not speak each others language laughing about the same thing. This told me language does not mean much. Actions can say it all.
It only took a few weeks for the family to get back in order. The Doctor would never be able to do surgery again, but the rest of him was in good shape so he went back to work. I still helped MaMa with the kids if she needed it but for the most part life was back to normal. Then, fate sent my family a terrifying moment. I was so sick with a lung congestion I could not breath and was unable to function or get out of bed, and at the same time my little baby had a terribly high temperature. I did not know what to do. Out of desperation my husband went over to the Doctor's place to ask what could be done. Doctor and his wife did not hesitate for one second. They both ran over to our place and went into immediate action!
They were used to this sort of thing at home in Guatemala! After they examined me and the baby they stood there discussing things quickly, in Spanish, then mapped out a plan of action with Doctor quickly pointing here and there as he explained the plan to nurse-wife. There was no medical gear of any kind at hand so they took action! The nurse filled our electric popcorn popper with water and got it boiling right next to my bed with my head over it to keep the steam going into my lungs. She then ran in and out of the bathroom carrying very hot wet towels to put on my chest. In the other bedroom the Doctor took cold wet cloths and began putting them on my baby over and over. If I had not been there I would not have believed any of this was happening! In about a half hour my lungs started to loosen up and I started to cough violently which began to open my lungs! In a short period of time my breathing became easier and I began to improve quickly. Then from the other room we heard Doctor announce loudly: "Baby boy's temperature is going down!" To this day I am 100% sure if Doctor and Nurse-wife had not been there at that moment in time, my baby and I might have died.
I was amazed. It seems that my ability to speak 8th grade Spanish and my willingness to be kind to other people saved our lives. It taught me to never underestimate anything. I knew for a fact that every living creature has value and everything alive needs the same thing; caring. Never forget. what you put out is sent back to you in some way. Everything matters in its own way, and everything contributes to existence. It does take a village...
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