She had shockingly white, Nordic blond hair. It wrapped around a rounded face graced with protruding cheek bones, under glacial blue eyes, and set off with a ski jump nose. Her name as Ingrid and she was my new Recreation Therapist.
Ingrid had a effervesent, nothing-got-her-down personality that immediately reminded me of the Jack Johson song, “Bubbly Toes”. I used to love to listen to that song when I was feeling down. Too bad I hadn’t brought any of my CDs with me when I moved.
“I see you spent some time with a Recreation Therapist during your stay at Foothills,” Ingrid said. “What sorts of things did you do?”
“Well. Actually. We mainly talked. I needed someone to talk to. I did write some poetry and I did some drawing,” I said.
“Well. Time for you to get moving,” she said. I was to learn that Ingrid was about action and talking wasn’t action in her mind.
“Why don’t you go over this list of recreational activities. I want you to underline the activities you’ve engaged in in the past. And, as you go through the list also circle the actitivities you might like to engage in.”
I looked over the list. There must have been four or five dozen activities. As directed by Ingrid I underlined some and circled others. Then I gave the list to Ingrid.
Ingrid looked over the list. “I notice you would like to take an Acrylic painting class. I have the calendar of classes from the City of Calgary Recreation here. Why don’t you look over the list of classes and we’ll discuss them next time,” she said.
“Our time is up. Unless you have any urgent questions.”
I didn’t. I took my leave wonder what awaited me at my next visit with Ingrid.
In time I would learn that not only was Ingrid a woman who encourged action in others. She was a woman who took action. Decisively.
An excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, All Rights Reserved, Lyle T. Lachmuth