Friday, July 08, 2016


Today, as I write this, I should be feeling happy since it is my birthday. (July 6th) But instead I am feeling the pinch and sting of living life in all its totality. As you know I go to The Hamptons Rehab Center to read to a woman with no legs, and worst still, no family. She is a living entombment and what life can hand you. Over the past weeks as we have talked, I started to help her piece her life back together again, one that had void after void, caused by a horrible auto accident one Sunday on her way to church with her husband.

Today I went to the Center and looked for her. She wasn’t in her usual spot in her wheel chair on the floor, so I checked the dining room and she wasn’t there either. I found out from one of the residents that she was sent to the hospital on Friday last with problems breathing. Inquiring at the nurse’s station about her where about, I was told I could find her in her room. When I entered the room, she was fast asleep, hardly breathing and white as a sheet. I decided not to awaken her and leave, and as I did, a nurse came into her room and asked out loud how ‘Stephie’, my friend was feeling, so I immediately went back in. Beside the Hemingway Short Stories, I was carrying, I had a Russian Orthodox Prayer Book, which she had requested in a previous reading.

This fragile woman now looks like she may not last the week. There is no hookups or tubes anywhere to her body, no monitors that I could see, but the nurse was taking either her pulse or oxygen reading in her blood. She looked almost upset when she saw me and I told her if it was OK I would leave her alone today and visit next week. Then I showed her the prayer book and reminded her that she had asked for one, which he remembered and I left it on the tray table.

I am hoping that if it is the end, that the prayer book, is a timely gift to her, to ease her suffering and pain, maybe God needed someone to find a way around these circumstances and give her solace and peace in her hour of eternal peace.


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