This is a story I wrote at work today. ONTARIO Helen Binders found an interesting way to celebrate Christmas. Binders, 91, Ontario, portrays her strong faith and one of the most powerful symbols in Christianity into a striking display on her front lawn. The display — a tall, white cross — sparkles and shines at her home situated on 11th Ave. “We always put Santa Claus and reindeer out and I thought what would be prettier then a plain cross?” Binders said. Binders developed the idea and put the cross up on her yard with no help. So the cross is more than just a symbol, Binders said as she sat down Wednesday in one of her blue reclining chairs in her front room. The cross, adorned with Christmas lights, is a steady reminder of her strong Catholic faith and the joy of Christmas. It has special meaning now, after Binders, acting on advice from her doctor to avoid large crowds, no longer attends Mass. “This is the first year I put it up,” Binders said. Binders said she plans to continue to put the cross up each year. “As long as I live,” she said with a smile. Binders has lived a large part of her life — 45 years — in Ontario. To Binders, Ontario’s attributes are obvious. “Its a small, friendly community,” she said. The cross has gained some attention, BInders said. “I don’t know about the community, but my next door neighbor said it was lovely,” she said. Binders is the Mother of four children and grandmother of six grandchildren and was able to spend Christmas with her family on the Binders Ranch. Binders also said she’s had her brush with fame. She is the mother-in-law to the late actor John Beradino who played Dr. Hardy on the TV soap General Hospital. Her other “claim-to-fame” is the fact she is a proud Mother of a family of basketball champions, her impressive age of ninety-one and now of course, the cross in her front yard illuminated for all to see. Her house is fully decorated inside and out including more crosses, lights, plenty of pictures and Christmas knickknacks displayed for enjoyment. The cross is one of the most powerful symbols in Christianity, according to The Encyclopedia Britannica. “From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man’s civilization. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world.”
Jeff and I made it safely to Ontario. We are staying with Clint and Patty until the 28th. We will be able to move into the house we are renting then. The house is older but really cute. When I find my camera I will have to take some pictures. I got a job at the Argus Oberserver, it is a news paper in Ontario and I will be doing a lot of different things for them. I am really excited and nervous and I start on Monday.
Sarah inspired me to write about some of my own experiences working at the information desk. I will warn you now, this story is not for the queezy, it is horrific and I hope I can fully express the trauma I experience that not-so-good day at BYU-Idaho.
It all started when I was sitting at my computer logging the question I had just answered when I young man asked if I had any bandaids. I told him we did and I got up and got him one. As I turned around to hand the bandaid to him he said, "Can you open it for me?" I thought it was a little strange but I opened it for him and threw the wraper away. Then he asked, "Can you put it on me?" He then put both hands on the counter.
When I looked down at his hands my eyes became wide in shock and horror. I don't know if I can fully desciribe what I saw that day. His hands were double the size you would think they should have been, including his fingers which were the thickness of a bananna. His skin was white and flaky looking and there were mulitple gashes which looked like they were due to the skin being stretched beyond it's ability. His finger nails were on the tips of his fingers. There were also bubbles of skin the size of silver dollars all over, including on the bottom of his fingers. There was some fluid coming from his wounds as well which added to the mangled effect.
I don't consider myself a queezy person but I began to sway a little because I couldn't believe it and I thought I might fall over. My eyes were looking right at his hands and I couldn't take them off him. I then said, "I can't fix this, a bandaid isn't going to fix this, you need to go to the health center." Then he told me he had an appointment for later that day. He then said, "Please, I can't put it on by myself and my other one fell off on a hand rail earlier." After he said that it made me even more sick because I pictured him touching all the hand rails on campus with his grotesk mutated hands.
I thought for a moment and then asked him where he wanted it. I thought he wanted to put it on one of the open wounds but he held up his large finger and held a large piece of bubbled skin on while I put the bandaid on. He said thank you and then walked away.
I was shaking when he left. I had never seen anything so disturbing in my entire life. It didn't look human and it upset me. I felt confused about my feelings toward the boy. I was angry at him for disturbing me so much and putting me in that situation, but I felt sorry for him because it looked so painful. I was scared and didn't want to catch what he had. I sprayed down the counter with lysol and then washed my hands and used antibacterial hand santizer. I was still shaking an hour later when I met with Jeff to go home. He asked me how work was and I began to cry.
Since the experience I have decided that I can say no to situations that make me feel uncomfortable. I did not have gloves or medical training and I could have just told him to go to the health center. Another little lesson I learned is that hand rails are dirty and you never know who has been touching them with their disgusting mangled hands.