Wednesday, September 16, 2015. This is Tim Hodgens and I’m presenting a brief report for my Wayfinders Project. This would be in the category of finding your way. It is a mini-example of how a person who was involved in an extreme event – a stroke – came, in a sense to find (a part) of her way, after the stroke. By way of further brief introduction, this type of post will be coming your way more frequently. I will be using my audio files which will be brought over from my digital recorder, or created into Sound Forge for editing, and transcribed into text using Dragon Naturally Speaking (V. 11.5) and then implanted onto my website. I hope you like the combination of audio and text. Also, more later on The Wayfinders Project.
I was walking over at the Solomon Pond Mall today and as I was going down one aisle I gradually became aware that there was somebody singing out in the next aisle. At first I didn’t really notice it that clearly and then, all of a sudden, I did, and I brought my attention to it. It was a woman whom I had previously seen walking in the mall. I had seen her before, singing as she was walking, and from prior observations I knew that she had suffered a stroke. She communicated by singing.
So there I am, walking down the aisle, salespeople to left and right and a few customers around, and I hear this woman singing: “Enjoy your day today, enjoy your day today.” There was no real variation to it. “Have a nice day, have a nice day.” I listened once or twice and then I responded; I sang: “I think that’s a great idea…thank you.” People perked up, started looking around and were smiling and I said: “right on.”
I continued my walk but the more I thought about it and her, the more I wanted to circle back to find her and see her again. I could hear her but by the time I got back there I had lost track of her. Elvis had left the building, or she had gone upstairs on the escalator. I said to myself that I didn’t think so because it would be way too risky for her because of her mobility problem or whatever; but I couldn’t find her again.
I hope I bump into her again. I will sing out to her again.
I said to myself that whatever the woman’s story was prior to her stroke, after that stroke it was different, it was radically different. I will leave it to the neuropsychologists and the neurologists of the world to talk about whether her memory was impaired or what other problems she had developed as a result of the stroke. But my guess is that her memory was intact; her ability to communicate in spoken words, was gone. And here you have a woman who is walking – exercise – getting out – great idea for not isolating – and smiling at people and singing and chanting a wonderful refrain.
The next time I see her I’ll have to listen to see if she changes those life encouraging words from day to day. To learn if that’s her mantra for the day or an ongoing mantra.
And I said to myself: “right on sister, right on!”
That’s a woman who’s finding her way, indeed!