Friday, September 5, 2008

Miss Eris

Whew. It has been a long week.

I got called into help out at church this week because the regular cook for the day school was sick. They wanted me four, but they only got me for three days. (The fourth day we were playing with Michelle and her beautiful babies. What fun we had!)

When I cook for the thundering hoards at church, there is lady who helps out in the kitchen. Her name is Eris. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. Here she is:

Eris had a stroke. I will not call her a stroke victim because there is nothing that says "victim" about Miss Eris.

I don't know her well. She doesn't talk all that much. The words don't come as easily as they used to. She doesn't have use of her right arm. Her right leg is a little slower than her left. I do know that she worked for 20 years at a major oil company in their computer department. Not anymore. Now she pushes this little cart to bring food and drink to the kids in our day school. She washes the dishes, prepares their juice, divvies up their snacks, and keeps this cook company.

She is only allowed to get paid for 4 hours of work each day because of her disability checks. I'm not sure when she gets there each day. I have never beat her there. I see her work about 6 hours.

And do I mean work. This woman works as hard as anyone I have ever seen. She hardly ever stops moving. In fact, just today she didn't feel well. She said she didn't get to sleep until around 2 a.m. She sat down to eat a little lunch. After a few minutes she said she had to get up or it would be naptime. So she got up and went back to work.

It is hard to complain when you are around Eris. When you see her determination to accomplish her tasks despite great odds, you can't help but be inspired.

I know from talking to other people at church that her children would like her to go to a nursing home. I find that laughable. I didn't have the privilege of knowing Eris before the stroke. I'm sure she is very different from the mother they grew up with. I'm sure they see her impairments and wonder how she can survive each day on her own. The Eris I see in the kitchen each day is doing just fine, thank you very much. She's not so proud that she won't ask for help when she needs it, but she is determined to do all she can by herself.

I feel proud to call her my friend.


Jubilee on Earth said...

Hi, Julie! Great post. How wonderful to know that there are people out there like this in the world!

I've been on a break for a few weeks, but have lots of reading and writing to catch up on. Just wanted to say "hello!"


Anonymous said...

Eris doesn't have to talk much for you to know the important things about her, she has the confident and contented smile of someone who knows they are loved, and are valuable. That is one reason she can ask for assistance when she needs it and not feel diminished as a person. We all need help at one time or another.

I'll bet she has touched more lives in an important way with her present job, than she did at her computer job!

If she doesn't look out, she's going to have so many jewels in her crown, she will have trouble wearing it!