Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday Scribbling - "Stranger"

I have often felt, in my journey through life, as if I were a stranger in my own environment. Just when I would start to get comfortable in my life something would invariably switch. Who knew that these different environments I visited were simply a learning ground for bigger challenges I would need to face.

Growing up I lived in a diverse neighborhood where I was considered a minority. I was threatened and teased for my dresses and white skin. I quickly learned to survive by ditching the dresses and embracing the different cultures. I didn't give up my culture, I just emersed myself in the other cultures to fit in. I was given a very unique look at the world at an early age. It shaped who I am today.

In high school I was taken from my diverse surroundings and thrown into another strange land. I was put in a Catholic private school where once again I felt like a stranger. We were not rich and I didn't even pass the entrance exam. I was somehow accepted and found myself in a school where the majority of the kids were white and rich. The economic differences were very clear in the various cliques. My core group of friends were diverse, and yet I could hang with the burnouts as easily as I could be a cheerleader on a Friday night.

Being a working wife and mother did not feel strange to me at all. I just thought it was the natural order of things. I loved juggling a home, kids and work. I didn't even feel strange doing it as a divorced mother because my role really didn't change. My life was full and productive. Sadly that would come to a sudden halt, as my life would take yet another turn. With one diagnosis I was once again a stranger in my own environment.

My life changed drastically as I went from a full life, to a life of isolation and uncertainty. I tried countless ways to adapt, but this would not be as easy as I had anticipated. It would become a journey I had to take alone. I found my inner strength, with the help of my faith, to find ways to stay a part of the outside world. The computer brought me to Dave and a very special love. I found that same computer kept me connected to the world and gave me a voice. I have real friends that I can reach out to all over the world. I can not only fit in, but I can make a small difference.

I will never remain a stranger in my own environment for long. My past has taught me how to adapt and know there is always a way to stay in the game.



Typing a single post and commenting takes a very long time with one finger. I recently had a demo with what I hope to be my saving grace. The Dynovox Eyemax will type with my eye's and will record my voice. I can use my voice or their numerous choices of sultry voices. It is a PC and can even anticipate the next word I might want to type. I can put it on a rolling stand and use it like a laptop. I loved trying it and I can see it giving me many more years of having a voice. I must get approved by the insurance company, but I will not take no for an answer on this one.





31 comments:

anthonynorth said...

This is a moving piece to which I can relate.
Excellently done.

B. Roan said...

You are someone I hope to emulate. You have taken strange and made it your friend.

Lilly said...

I think most people can relate to this. I agree with anthony, it was very moving. Best wishes to you.

Linda Jacobs said...

This is wonderful writing! Your spirit and personality shine through.

Good luck with the new computer!

anno said...

Wow, Tammy, I think you've hit a home run with this one. As b. roan already said: you have taken strange and made it your friend, and taught me a lesson about being human (and humane) as well. I hope for a fast approval for your Dynovox Eyemax -- it sounds like a dream.

Cheryl said...

Tammy,
This blew me away. Your writing is so real and poetic. You emulate the power and beauty of the human spirit.
I pray the new computer works out for you. That would be so wonderful.
I feel so privileged to know you.
XXXXXXX

Granny Smith said...

Isn't a computer a wonderful device?
My aging body is precluding many activities, and I depend on my computer more and more. I'm so happy that you have found one that will enable you for years to come! And a selfish reason for being happy about it is that I would really miss your blog were it to disappear into cyberspace. I admire you tremendously and your determination to not let the ALS keep you from a full life.

~*sis*~ said...

hoping that your insurance approval is swift.
you are a strong person...:)

Me Maw said...

Adapt...that is a word I have been struggling with lately. Thanks for that lovely and thought provoking post.

Blessing, peace & all that is good!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Wonderful! xoxo

tumblewords said...

Wonderfully written! I, too, hope your new computer comes quickly and easily. I've seen but haven't used one. My life the last few years has required adjustments I didn't think I could make, but... Survival requires a lot of strength. Good for you!

Kay said...

I'm claiming that computer for you right now - it's yours! :) I value your friendship more than you can know Tammy.

Rinkly Rimes said...

How sad it must be for you to find your own body becoming a stranger. I feel for you.

Chris said...

Definitely follow the appeals process if they deny it the first time around. Adaptive equipment should be covered.

Genuine Gem said...

That computer thing is awesome!!! i'm definitely going to pass that on to some families I know that would appreciate it.
Sorry I haven't been around for a long time, been super busy! I don't seem adapt as well as you :)

Mary said...

Well written and extremely moving.

I am thrilled that technology is allowing people to stay connected and adapt to situations that seem completely unfathomable

Geraldine said...

A very moving post Tammy.

And make no mistake, you make a BIG difference (for the better) in all of the people's worlds that you touch, including mine.

Big hug, G

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

tinker said...

Like a lot of others, I can identify with your early memories of being the stranger that has to learn to adapt. But you take adapatability to a whole new level, Tammy - you never fail to inspire me! I am so rooting for you getting that adaptive device!
~Hugs~

Devil Mood said...

I am glad you are not a stranger anymore. In fact, I don't feel as though you're a stranger to me even if I haven't been here that many time (ok, a few times)

I really hope you get that extra help as I throughly enjoy reading your posts :)

Mary Timme said...

YOu really are a warrior and a hero to emulate to me. Blessings

Frances said...

I love how you have managed to be so creative.
Thank you for visiting my site.
I have often felt like a stranger in my own life.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Wonderfully written to the stranger theme, I do hope that this new computer comes your way soon, it sounds fantastic!

emmapeelDallas said...

I agree with all of the others. Tammy, this is BEAUTIFULLY written and you say so eloquently what so many of us have felt/do feel.

Judi

p.s. - definitely keep on the insurance company about this new technology. It sounds TERRIFIC, and there are many of us who want to continue hearing your wonderful voice for years.

mspennylane said...

What a great post, especially for someone like me who has just finished university and pretty unsure of what I want to be. I guess we all feel like strangers sometimes, but you have become strong from adapting and learning each time. I hope I can do that too :)

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

TO adapt is a lesson I am learning right now, thanks for a great post, I know how hard it is for you to get one out, and I'm so excited about the computer, I hope the insurance approves it too. Love ya bunches!

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

That was a lovely and moving piece , I really admire your determination and inner strength , Kudos to you . .Good luck with the computer , It looks amazing :D. .

Remiman said...

Tammy,
Your resilience and fortude quickly turn strange to familiar. Your ability to roll with the punches is a tremendous asset in your quest to live live to the fullest.
I pray that you can get this new computer. You'll be posting like a whirlwind! ;-)
rel

Lucy said...

Tammy, it does feel that everything in our lives happen for a reason.
your words once again are so moving and poetic
They BETTER get you this amazing computer aid! Give 'em hell Tammy, YOU will get it!

Giggles said...

I'm seeing you with that computer. I'm with granny I can't imagine life without the wonderful world of computers!

Life is ever changing and evolving in the strangest way. You always have such a profound way of speaking truth! Another amazing scribble!

Hugs Giggles

paisley said...

I can not only fit in, but I can make a small difference.

fit in??? small difference??? girl you are burning down the house!!!!

you are an inspiration to me daily,, whether you post or not,, although the very thought that you might be able to score one of those amazing computers makes me think if and when,, i might be able to hear a whole lot more from you!!!!!!!!!

SandyCarlson said...

You are quite a role model! What a powerful, humble, humbling post. God bless.