Torn between two cities

February 11, 2007 at 12:16 am

Tampa, Florida has been my home for 21 years. I lived 10 minutes from the stadium where the Tampa Bay Bucaneers play and 15 minutes from the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center where I was a volunteer usher for 15 years and a tour guide. I got to see all of the shows for free. You name it – I saw it – and several times! The beach was 5 minutes away. The school where I was a teacher of Gifted children was one mile away. I was spoiled.

But as I was visiting my hometown in Pennsylania, Guillain-Barre came back into my life. It hit 21 years ago before I left and again as I returned. So now I am stuck up here temporarily. My hometown is in eastern PA in the coal region, has around 15,000 people, no movie theaters and no major restaurants. John O’Hara lived here and wrote about it. We have America’s oldest brewery – Yuengling beer. General George Joulwan – a former Supreme Allied Commander grew up here. We are about a half hour north of Hershey which has Hershey kisses for lamp covers in their sweet town. I use the editorial “we” as I live alone and have not been out of the house in 4 months. They say that what small towns lack, they make up in friendly and helpful people. I have found the opposite since I got GBS. Sad. I have mostly gotten, “Gee, that is a shame, but I can’t help you NOW.” I hold no animosity because everyone has the right to help or not. I just find it surprising. As I wait for my recovery, I wonder if I shall be scared to return to teaching. I am afraid to be around kids for fear I shall get a bad cold and start the immune system attacking my body. I know it is silly, but I don’t want this a THIRD time.