Come Help

My four and one half year Lyft career ran from October of 2015 until the first week of March 2020. Yesterday I got a message from Lyft that they would pay me $400 to start driving again. My heart was ready to roll, however the reality of being a 70-year-old, type 2 diabetic overruled my desire to do my part. It wasn’t the money that was the draw, it was clearly the human connections. I am soon to begin month four of this unwelcome “stay-cation”. Lyft was very clear that the demand was far outstripping the availability of drivers. I am still conflicted. When I figured out just how difficult and dangerous Covid-19 is I listened to the scientists. We have a long road ahead. I also have heard it said again and again that I am in the high risk category. My first priority when I came to my senses was that I am no good to anyone dead. I have dodged many bullets in my life, some self inflicted and others random fate.
In the summer of 2010 Mom was hospitalized with a heart condition. Most likely while visiting her I contracted MERSA— aka “the flesh eating bacteria”. I spent six days at St. Joe’s Hospital running from the grim reaper. I never thought it was the end, however a couple of medical folks told me “You are very fortunate”. Mom died the day I was released and I went to that strange place of grief and grace. In 2013 with the help of Daughter Amy, Mary Kay, and my wonderful church at South Broadway, I went to the New Start program at the Weimar Center near Sacramento. In those 18 days I changed my health. I became a plant based eater. My diabetes is now completely managed without insulin. I have lost a whole lot of weight and my doctor calls me a ‘medical miracle’. However, I am not bullet proof. Two of the things I love doing the most—singing in a choir, and driving for Lyft are “very dangerous” in Corona World.
So… I sit here on my back patio watching birds coming to dine at our bird feeder. I have watched a family of Golden Finches grow from two to six. The back patio has become an Audubon exhibition that grows every day. Each day I watch a squirrel pretend that I can’t see him raid the birds’ food. I continue to enjoy the health of plant based living. My 12-step life has made me a ‘master zoomer’ as I attend meetings on screens, which are okay but not the same as “being in the rooms”.

Yes, Lyft, I hear you. I can’t help and that makes me very sad. You are a great company who gave me a chance to learn so much from complete strangers. In the mean time bird feeder needs refilling.
Onward and Upward, Mark

6 thoughts on “Come Help

  1. Helpers want to help, my first thought was go back to the schools and read with kids who need practice. I know I can’t, maybe online would work. Thanks for this article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God bless you and your huge heart. You have made and continue to make this world a better place. So proud of the man you’ve become. Proud that you’re my friend. I find myself these days sitting on my back deck listening to the wind in the trees and the birds singing while I let the world go by. Contemplating where we have all been, the roads we’ve traveled since Phillips and where we go from here. It’s a comfort to know there’s lots of us out there pulling for each other. God’s Grace, my friend. Hug that wonderful wife of yours for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Today’s Lyft article reminded me that there are others out there who cannot do the things they used to because of a disability. I am still struggling to walk.

    Try watching a Lutheran church service on Youtube….Trinity Lutheran Church Pasadena. It is led by a friend, fellow parishioner and former boss, Sharon Richter, who recently graduated from seminary. Today’s service was just awesome. It made me feel like I was on a cloud with other faithful people worshipping Jesus.

    Stay well my friend!


  4. Sorry you are no longer able to help shuttle folks around now. I know the connections meant so much to you. I was unaware that you had contracted MERSA. Stay safe, stay sane and keep smiling. God’s creatures also need you.


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