Wednesday, April 23

Charles Part III, The Bowling Outing.............. 4/23/14

      One Saturday, we went to a bowling alley on the El Camino, in Redwood City.  Charles went too.   I'm pretty good with this sport, as I usually won at horseshoes since a kid.  The tossing motion is

    The fourteen residents, a fellow rehab worker---Nancy---and I escaped from the foreboding, barb-wired, monolithic three story, every-room-locked mental health center.  We were a smaller, more personal crowd.  No longer did we swim through clouds of cigarette smoke.  Whew.

     I took a look from behind, as Charles played the game for the first time.  I shared pointers.  He responded well.  Strike! Spare!  Wow.  He was both literally and figuratively on a roll.

    The next frame he did the same.  The group cheered him on.  An experience he never knew.  I told the group that if they were a religious group we could call our team the Holy Rollers, with Charles our leader.

      Then it happened, while Charles bowled.  Unexpected.  In a flash, the occasion abruptly changed.  Those near us, not from the hospital were horrified.  Transfixed on what they saw.

       There on the floor, laying on his side, quivering like a fish out of water, lay Charles.  Having a seizure.  The excitement of his success, the cheering on by the rest of us, along with the impact of his medications resulted with him writhing on the polished hardwood floor.  Right in lane number 19.

      Calmly, I called out to the fellow at the checkout booth, "Please call an ambulance."  I had the rest of the residents step away from their peer.  They understood. Their faces portrayed the compassion of those who have been in such a place themselves.  Damn medications.

       The ambulance came forthwith.  The rest of the group was stunned by the drama taking place on El Camino Real.  We hopped back in the van.  To a local pharmacy store, I drove.  While the co-leader stayed with the group I purchased a get well card.

      The residents, the co-leader and I wrote our best wishes for him who had---until his body took over---been the star.   God, I loved that guy.

      Turning the van around, we deposited the literary remains of our prayers and kind thoughts at the hospital where Charles was.  Everyone felt better.   I still had outing money.  We went to an ice cream parlor to round out our adventure on that beautiful spring day. 


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Thursday night, I am grateful for;

1. A Wednesday dinner and chat at one of our favorite local, diners, with my friend the Rabbi of Chicago.

2. Followed by an evening of healing and recovery in our weekly circle of friends, sharing their stories of challenge, hope and strength.

3. Dialing down an otherwise non-stop workday to dawdle and dine on a noontime apple under a shade tree. This, and photograph some dazzling, yellow roses in the quaint little wine-snob and foodie town of Yountville, in the storied Napa Valley.

4. Some Costco shopping on the way home from work, and grabbing some of my wife's favorite things.

5. The chance to catch up on one of my favorite TV shows; "Blacklist."

6. A sincere and authentic conversation with my eternal soul mate tonight.

7. Exercising discipline to cut down on late night meals and snacking in order to drop some excess pounds.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Saturday night, early Sunday morning, I am grateful...

1. I could catch up on some rest last night and tonight.

2. I could "own" forgetting to input a live spot prawn order last night for a high-end SF restaurant, needed today, for tonight's dinner service! Ouch!

3. And..I could therefore accept having to abort my weekly grocery shopping outing for my mom, drive to our warehouse and do an emergency, mid-afternoon (on my day off) delivery of belated, wiggling spot prawns in salt water to said, worried, nervous SF chef.

4. I could surrender to an unusually busy, (didn't expect to be at work today...)driving, Saturday and sleep for three hours tonight.

5. That I could awaken at 9:30 PM, and watch with my wife, simultaneously, between commercials (gotta love the remote)Harry Potter's last film (Deathly Hollows Part 2; where they kill Voltamore and get married), Anthony Bourdain in the Punjab, sampling exotic Indian cuisine, and Norah Jones at Austin City Limits.

6. To go beyond time and space entranced in untypical entertainment relaxation via TV, and suddenly realize its already 12:30 AM...Bonsoir

Syd said...

A good reminder to be grateful for good health.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Tuesday night, I am grateful...

1. While receiving a disturbing, irritating and distracting text from an angry chef tonight, I could "breathe," not react, and let it go long enough for God's solution to arrive.

2. I could (take the moral high-ground) apologize to said chef, make peace, and leave the door open with him, even though I did not need to. I did it for me, and WOW, what a liberation for my heart and mind. And, in the process, I was able to diffuse his all around win-win! Miraculous!

3. I could meet and brainstorm with kindred souls tonight around interfaith dialogue, cooperation and outreach.

4. In so doing, I could (as an aside) be reminded to go see " Heaven is Real," still in the cinema, read the book "Proof of Heaven," and take another look at Ben Carson's story and book...

5. To be reminded to be less critical of others, to celebrate the small steps, progress, to see the good in what is, and to build upon that toward what I hope will be.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.