Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"There but for the Grace of God go I"

That was one of my father's favourite sayings and he quoted it whenever he saw someone who was disabled, or in some way less fortunate than us. Today I was reminded of Dad yet again when I was sitting having a coffee and muffin in our shopping centre. Two men - one pushing the other in a wheelchair, sat down at a table at the far end of the cafe so they wouldn't be in anybody's way. The man in the wheelchair was severely disabled, his head lolling on one side and his eyes rolling much of the time. His friend carefully spoon-fed the disabled man, and held a cup for him to drink from.

When I finished my coffee, I approached the men and introduced myself. I asked the carer if he was related to the disabled man and he said no, but he was his carer. As I had my work uniform on, he could see I worked in the same field, and we had a brief discussion about our work. While we were talking, the disabled man took my hand and kissed it several times, and I let him hold my arm while I chatted to his carer, who after a brief second of embarrassment, said "He's still a womaniser!"

I asked if his friend was an accident victim and was told yes - he had collided with a tram while riding a motorcycle - 17 years ago. I turned to the disabled man and started to tell him that I also used to ride a bike and had been in a bad accident once, but his friend said "He can't hear you, he is deaf". I leant forward and gave him a kiss, and the carer thanked me for stopping to chat. Most people walk by quickly, averting their gaze because they are uncomfortable seeing 'abnormal' people out and about. I have the opposite reaction; I just want to go and hug them and say "I know you are still a real person inside that terrible cage". I don't go that far of course, but I usually stop to smile and shake a hand or chat if I have time. Can I convince you to feel a little compassion next time you see a fellow human being in a cage?


Blogger miss*R said...

you are a kind soul, Gina. a very kind soul. I grew up with an uncle with 'mental' disabitities and am always aware that each person is just the same as I am 'inside that cage' but I must admit that some scare me. It stems from when I was a little girl of 7 (long story)

Tuesday, 13 February, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, you are a beautifully kind soul. I too stop to 'take notice' of those around me and see if I can make a difference in their day. One memory I have is that of a lady looking quite poorly whilst shopping with her husband in the supermarket. He looked quite worried about her and kept asking her if she was alright. Mum and I followed them along the aisles as we both had a bad feeling about the situation. The lady suddenly started convulsing and fitting and fell to the floor. Mum being an ex sister/nurse set to work helping the lady.... whilst I comforted the husband and rang for an ambulance. Together, Mum and I helped this lovely elderly couple, and ensured they were in the safety of the ambumance officers before setting off to complete our own shopping. I think about them every now and then and wonder if they are doing okay.
xox Nicole

Tuesday, 13 February, 2007  

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