THE PARADOX OF LIFE
by Alister Fuller.
This day on 21stJuly2018.
As a bus driver I have the privilege to have these unique experiences almost on a daily basis. This one however has to be recorded and documented.
I woke up this morning grateful that I woke up in the first place. Feeling optimistic about the day ahead. I done my usual routine, my stretches and my 60 pushups. Breathing heavily I knew I was going to have a great day ahead. I arrived at work earlier than normal made my cup of tea put my 6 boiled eggs (protein) in the microwave and went to print out my run sheet for the day ahead. I picked up the tea and my bag and walked out to the bus. Completely forgetting my breaky in the microwave. I was very hungry because the night before I only had 6 squares of dark chocolate for dinner. It was too late to return so I rang my office and asked the guy to put my eggs in the fridge for later.
I started at 6 a.m. and within 8 a.m. I had two experiences totally opposite of each other. I call this a WOW experience THE PARADOX OF LIFE.
The first one was an elderly lady who was going to the cemetery in Warrandyte to have a chat with her husband who passed away 13 years ago. She told me that she cannot forget him and she goes every saturday to have a chat with him. I asked how old was he when he passed away. Her Reply was no matter how old he was I still loved him and I still miss him. “He had a good life” she said to me. She also told me that the street which leads to the cemetery is one of the most beautiful walks she takes. The air is fresh and the mist is beautiful to see. Cold but beautiful. I looked to where she was pointing to the right. I noticed that the Street was reasonably steep which she has to walk up the hill and she is in her 70s. I would say that is hard to do and she still calls it a beautiful walk. It would have been the fact that she is spending time with her late husband that made the walk more beautiful for her although it was a hard walk uphill. I said wow what an attitude to life. I told her to say hi to her husband for me and she said she certainly will. She had a big smile on her face.
I continued to head to the bridge to turn around and do a trip back to the city. Two stops before the bridge I stopped to go to the toilet. I noticed a lady scantily dressed on the opposite side of the road in the bus stop walking in one spot to keep herself warm. It looked like she was feeling very cold. So I signalled to her to get into my bus because in a few minutes I would turn around and she would catch my bus anyway. It was much warmer in my bus than the cold outside. She seemed to be high on something. She could barely keep her eyes opened. All her make up and lip stick was smudged. I asked her “what’s going on”. With her eyes barely opened She told me that she was a sex worker and she had a very bad night. A customer was a bad rude person so after the business she got paid and she left the guy’s house and walked to the shops at 4 a.m. in the freezing cold. She curled up in front of a shop to keep warm. At day break she walked to the nearest bus stop waiting for the first bus to come. She also had a coffee in her hand and I was worried that it would spill at any time. I asked her why she does what she does. Her reply was that she needed money to finance her heroin addiction. I continued to talk to her and she told me that she was suffering from depression and she had no reason to live. She also told me that she was homeless about 2 years ago for a couple of years. She also said that she was pregnant. She continued that she went to remove it last week and then she walked out of there without doing it. She is 38 years old and this is the first time she’s fallen pregnant. I asked her if she knew who the father was. She said yes that it was her boyfriend and he wants to marry her in December. She also said that she is addicted to heroin and she spent all the money she made last night on heroin and a coffee. She was broke. She did not know whether to keep the baby or not. She could barely keep her eyes open she had a cup of coffee in her hand and my worry was that she was going to spill it so I kept insisting that she drinks it as quickly as possible. So I was constantly keeping an eye on her hoping she doesn’t fall and hurt herself or she spills the coffee which I would have to clean up afterwards.
After about 10 minutes with her feeble voice she tells me the coffee is over. So I told her I will take the cup from her but she saw a Bin near by, she said she will put it in a bin. I was very impressed that someone who is out to it can still think of doing the right thing. She said that her father was a bus driver and used to take his three kids in the bus quite often. She had very fond memories of her ride in the bus with her father. I suddenly felt the need to help this lady.
After a few stops a guy and his little daughter gets in. So I start talking to him and I told him that this lady needs help to please get her address so I can order an Uber ride for her when we reach the city. He was a Lebanese gentleman and he sat next to her and he chatted with her all the way to the city. He had so much of goodness in his heart. He was compassionate and kind. When we arrived in the city I booked an Uber cab. I told the lady to stay in my bus until the cab comes. Within two minutes her ride came around. I informed the cab driver Mr Stephen that she is high on some kind of drug. He asked who’s paying for the ride. I said that I was. He had a surprised look on his face. He was lost for words. I told him to please take her safely home and make sure she gets into her house. That was the best $12 I spent that day.
I put my arm around the lady and I said “with a baby in your womb you have every reason to live. This is a great opportunity to make a change in your life for the better”. She told me that she will think about it seriously. She wobbled into the cab and they left.
In all this excitement and drama I completely forgot that I was hungry. I had my lunch at my usual time.
THE PARADOX OF LIFE. An elderly lady clinging to the memories of a loved one lost and a young lady suffering from depression and drug addiction with no reason to live. WOW. What a start to a Saturday at work.
Later that day when I went to The Pines Shopping Centre there were two girls talking to me to sign up for a World Vision sponsorship of a child in India and about 30 minutes later when I approached Tram Road and Doncaster Road intersection there were money collectors. So I asked them what the charity was and they told me it’s Rabbit Run Orphanage. So I said is it a children’s charity and they said no it is to find homes for rabbits that are abandoned by their owners. Another Paradox.
What a day at the office.