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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Children



Laura takes a personal fitness and safety unit as part of her gymnasium requirement. I remember Hamilton taking a rigorous personal training unit, and emerging proud of his increase in strength and endurance. I have no recollection of Emily’s gym classes. I hear about Laura’s almost every day.   

The youngster who failed gym in elementary school because she could or would not do pushups, now tells me how to fend off several sorts of unwanted physical threats. When and how to use hands, feet, knees, fingers, physical objects commonly available is good knowledge.

This week Laura told me she’d learned how two people can disarm a gunman. How one person can. I won’t argue with her; only be glad she probably never will be in the situation. I don’t understand how her instructor, and by extension her school, can cover this topic in forty-five or ninety minutes and have the children believe it’s possible. Laura does want to join a local Krav Maga class, and we’ll do that when we get back from spring break.

On our way home from weekly grocery shopping Laura’s friend texted, “Can I come to your house and spend the night?” The friend said she had been at a sleep over the previous night where she had not only been bullied, she felt she was set up to be bullied.

“I warned her,” Laura said. “Now she wants to visit a real family.”

I have these mental images of this week, and one more to add. A young woman at my drug store took opportunity to turn my anger and make me a good customer and a friend. This incident happened last summer, when I was pretty much a mess of drugs, though she did not know that.

Carol is the assistant pharmacy manager, and worked diligently on the phone with me to unscrew a prescription mess up that existed. I was going to say “probably Keppra!”, but I do recall it was Lyrica, another Tier something or the other drug, easy to get boggled. When I appeared at the counter to pick up the prescription, it was sucked back into the quagmire.

In too loud a voice I said “NO!” From the back of the pharmacy area, “Noragon!”, and a young woman came forward. The voice belonged to the person who had helped me on the phone. A very young woman, long dark hair bleached far too blond. “I’m Carol. I helped you.” She elbowed the clerk aside, got my script back in the queue, and got it for me. Ever since, if she is on duty, even if I do not see her, from somewhere in the pharmacy I hear “Noragon!”

On today’s errand list, a stop at the pharmacy for my Belbuca script.  Of course the refill is sucked back in the morass, and I objected. Like magic, Carol appeared and worked magic with computer screens. Laura said “You got your hair cut!” “Just yesterday! You like it?” What I took for bed head was the real deal, and one young girl twirled for another.

Which made me brave enough to ask a year old question. “Carol, I like your accent. Where is it from?”

Utter silence. Then, “I don’t like to tell. But…you are my friend. Syria.”

I felt tears spring up, and Carol was distraught. “Oh, Carol, thank God you aren’t there now!” Laura handed me a tissue and Carol agreed, “Yes, it’s no place for anyone.”


21 comments:

  1. And reading your post my tears welled too. I am so thankful that Carol is no longer in Syria, that she is safe and has met people like you to welcome her, and wish that more could do the same. So many more.
    But I have to ask: Krav Maga?

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    1. Israeli military self defense. Why not. She looked it up.

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  2. Hari OM
    ...and now tears here... thankyou for telling us about Carol. It's important. Not so sure about Israeli fighting tricks though. But in today's world... YAM x

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  3. Three nice stories in one post. The poor girl who was bullied breaks my heart. And the nice girl from Syria touches my heart. Great post.

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  4. The situation in Syria looks worse every day. I am glad Carol is safe.

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  5. I'm glad you are Carol's friend. I'm glad she is there to help you. Good people, all around.

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  6. That is a beautiful story, it is good for Carol to be safe there, i hope there will be more from her poor country. Krav maga, i know what it is)

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  7. Her country is a mess at the moment, she is lucky to be out of it but it's sad for friends and family who are still there.
    Merle........

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  8. What a touching story about Syria and Carol from Syria. I'm glad she is safe and doing something she is obviously good at. I was meant to join a cooking class tonight with Syrian women but I had to cancel. Hopefully there will be another opportunity It's good Laura is learning some useful self defense. My mom used to try to teach me because I was bullied by neighbourhood bullies. But I was a hopeless fighter even in self defence.

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  9. I love every line of this post.

    We have a number of Syrian refugee families in our area. They are hard workers and happy to be safe. But there are so many of their countrymen who are not.

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  10. Oh, my, what a story. Syria? Wow.

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  11. never knew self defense was taught in schools; nice to hear you have someone to look out for you at the pharmacy.

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  12. Now she has found a friend in you Joanne - lovely story with a good ending.

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  13. This turns to a poignant conclusion.

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  14. Lovely memories in this post, I'm smiling now even though I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. Laura is a wonderful helpful friend to her friend and now Carol is the same to you too.

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  15. Great story, I'm sad that she is reluctant to talk about her culture.

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  16. I'm in favor of learning how to protect yourself but it's something that has to be practiced. 45 minutes only makes you think you can do it. why are girls so mean to each other? I used to think it was because of competition for males back when women weren't allowed to do anything besides marry but in this day we have so much opportunity to make our own lives. Laura's friend learned a valuable lesson I hope. be suspicious of overtures from girls who don't ordinarily include you. and Carol is a perfect example of how we are cutting our noses off to spite our faces. us being those who are anti-immigration, judging people by their country of origin or religion.

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    1. Laura's description of how to disarm someone with an assault rifle horrified me, and convinced me she needs specialized classes. This personal safety class is bizarre, but I certainly cannot correct it.

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  17. Imagine being afraid to say where you come from.

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  18. Self defence classes are, sadly, a good idea.
    The Syrians seem to be this generation's version of the Bosnians, who, having fled conflict, were to be found everywhere in the '90s .... a whole country and culture scattered.

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