Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Aunt & Uncle: Helen & Billy

Today, according to my cousin Mary, there was an article in Richmond Times-Dispatch about the Silent Lunch on Wednesdays from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Shops at Willow Lawn's food court. My parents and relatives are somewhat devoted attendees of Silent Lunch. I rarely go. I just could not care less, really.

Watching hearing people trying to fingerspell a word in very slow manner makes me bored. Like Rosey Goodman did before when someone tried to fingerspell so slow, she turned her head away in the midst of his attempt to fingerspell to demonstrate that she is not interested nor had the time to put up with the shit. Suffice to say, the guy were stumped.

But certainly not my parents and my relatives, they can be so ... insanely patient. They can go 4 hours of enduring a person fingerspelling a whole 9-word sentence! Of course, I'm exaggerating.

It took 15 years for Richmond Times-Dispatch to realize that there is Silent Lunch at The Shops at Willow Lawn. Pretty impressive, is it? Silent Lunch gatherings rarely cancelled its events on Wednesdays. Very rarely. But it is nice to see that my uncle and aunt was mentioned in the article as well. You can see my aunt sitting in blue shirt. I am certain that my sister is the one wearing black shirt next to Peggy Norwood.

Aunt Helen is quite a character. She is feisty woman whom I am proud to have as Aunt. She was stricken with Polio disease a long time ago but she did not let it stop her from doing whatever she wanted to do what is on her mind. I vividly remembered going to the Richmond Club of the Deaf in Downtown Richmond. The clubhouse is situated on 2nd floor (really, if you look at the building itself, it is third floor by the modern's standards due to the fact that the building has the high ceiling on the first floor.

Due to the lack of laws, Helen had to abandon her wheelchair on the bottom of the long stairway and drag herself on the top of the floor -- without picking up a dirt on her dress. She was simply professional in what she does. And by the way, she does it so fast. She can zoom all the way to the top as it did not drain her energies -- imagine this -- using her arms to move up the stairs by the rails is not easy thing to do.

It is as if nobody can deny her the right to be in that place, not even the stairs would deny her! AT the top of the floor, there was crutches for her to get around. But when it is time to go home, she zoomed down the stairs without falling by using her arms to control herself with the rails. Some people would be worried about her going up and down the stairs, but not me. I know she'll manage just fine. After all, she had been doing it for the rest of her life.

That is my Aunt Helen.



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