How often have we thought that things were unfair? That life was not worth living?
I am an optimistic person and I often think that things happen for a reason. Yet last week I saw something at the airport of Buenos Aires that keeps giving me nightmares, after a happy vacation in South America.
A young man in his late teens or mid twenty I couldn’t tell for sure because this person was more like a skeleton than a human person, half-lying in a wheelchair. The sight of his bare limbs froze me in place. They were not limbs per say, more like bones, scrambled on the wheelchair as if someone has folded them. His head lay on the side, almost flat, eyes half-open, no expression. A blanket covered only his body curved against the back of the wheelchair, leaving the bones of his thighs and legs exposed.
The contrast between the condition of this young man and the surrounding jumped at me. This was not a miserably poor or needy begging in the streets of India or Egypt because his family or government couldn’t support him. So why was he so wretchedly skinny? The man pushing the wheelchair chatted with a female companion as if he was used to push that wheelchair and its occupant in any environment.
My husband squeezed my hand. “Don’t stare like that.”
I just couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe from shock. Tears flooded my eyes.
What was this young man doing in a crowded airport? Why was he sitting in a wheelchair? Why wasn’t he in a hospital bed with medical staff helping him? How could the man and woman just chat so casually? Were they his parents? Have they given up hope on him ever improving?
I have seen some horrific sights during my many trips abroad, but none that affected me so strongly. I’m trying to convince myself that maybe he was flying to the U.S. to be treated. Help me find an answer to the above questions.
Every time I fly abroad, I return more convinced that we are very, very lucky to live in a great country, whether it’s the U.S. or Canada.
I don’t want to leave you with heart-wrenching feeling. There were many beautiful things I’ve enjoyed in Brazil and Argentina.
I like to set my stories in the various countries I visited.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international