Every Step is a Leap of Faith

Night before last the whole family went to the Springfield Mall. Wednesdays are our late day and we usually get takeaway, but Jane needed a new bathing suit for a swim party and I wasn’t up for takeaway. After a surprisingly decent meal at Ruby Tuesdays, we ventured into the mall.

Jane and I went into Pacific Sunwear, while Eliz went to Aeropostale to get the gift card for the birthday party Jane was to attend, and Jake went to the bookstore. I assited Jane in her quest for a bikini. I have never shopped for a bikini before, though if I continue to bulk up, I may be shopping for a bikini top to match my swimming trunks. Jane and I looked through countless tops and bottoms. She’d find one we both liked (we are both fans of bold colors,) but they wouldn’t have her size. Eliz returned from Aeropostale and took over helping Jane. I decided to walk down to the bookstore to see what Jake was up to.

As I carefully exited the store, I realized that I haven’t walked around this mall alone for quite sometime. Eliz is usually with me, or one of the kids may be with me if we head off to different stores. The mall is fairly dark to me, though it could be the bright glare of the stores that make it seem that way. I became increasingly nervous with every step. What if I walked into someone or something, I thought. I don’t want to hurt anyone, especially a child. I don’t want to look like an idiot by walking into a display, kiosk, caution sign, planter, or the dreaded glass wall (Mr. Magoo popped into my head…) Oh yeah, I don’t want to hurt myself either.

This thinking didn’t make me slow down. I continued to walk at my normal pace. One thing on my side was the fact that, at 8:30pm on a Wednesday evening in the current economic climate, there weren’t too many people in the mall. I didn’t trust my eyes (okay, eye.) I felt like Indiana Jones crossing that ravine to get the grail. To me, every step was a leap of faith. Once I got past the kiosks with the ultra aggressive salespeople that practically jump out in front of you as you walk by, I began to feel less nervous. Then I walked into the bookstore…

I found Jake, gave him a few bucks to buy a book, and we headed back to the girls. Since I was with Jake, I had no problem walking back to PacSun (though I did walk into Jake a few times…)

Fast forward to this morning. I had been putting off a blood test since late January. We moved the business, then I was sick, then we were set to go and I’d forget and eat something late. Earlier this week I decided today would be the day. I had coverage at the business. I kept reminding myself not to eat late last night. Finally, today was the day.

Eliz and I parked in the garage at Springfield Hospital/HealthPlex and we walked in. The hallway is only about eight feet wide. I walked behind Eliz so that people coming the other way could pass without me running into them. We walked at an above average pace (the free parking is only lasts 45 minutes…) As we came to the end of the hallway, there was a man walking slower than we were. (At this point, Eliz and I were holding hands.) It was an older man who I thought was walking with a cane. As we got closer — about three feet behind him — I noticed it wasn’t a walking cane. It was a cane used by blind and visually impaired people use. My first thought was, “Oh God, I’m going to have to walk that slowly?” We waited for the wider area of the hospital lobby and maneuvered around him.

We resumed our pace and checked in at the outpatient services. While we were checking in, the older man strolled into the waiting area. The lady that was helping me noticed him and said, “Hello Jim. I’ll be right with you.” He answered and waited about eight feet behind the chairs we were sitting in. Once we finished she called him over. He began joking with the woman. I thought he seems to be pretty happy. He can’t see very well or at all, he must have another health issue since the lady knows him, yet he still seemed happy.

Slow down and take it easy. I’ll have to try it sometime.