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Friday, July 01, 2016

WHAT GIVES US PEACE?


As you may know by now, once a week I drive out to Southampton to the Hampton’s Rehab Center and visit a lady I have gotten to know since my daughter entered if and rehabbed for 4 months. She is a very lonely and quiet soul, very timid and waiting to die, maybe in her 50’s or 60’s, and void of memory mostly from a period in her life that suffered a major trauma.

Over the past three weeks, we have taken to discuss her past and what she does recall, and what she is trying to connect together to give her a better picture for her question: Why?

Why is she without legs, why is she having such difficulty forming words, finding the right ones and what has happened to part of her memory. It disturbs me that anyone should have to live in a wheelchair and be confined to a second floor with no one to visit her. She has no children or family, and so I decided maybe she could use a friend, even if it is me.

Since we have been having these discussions for the past three weeks, slowly she is starting to remember things, and beginning to connect the dots. Last week I asked her if she got outside at all, and she said no. I suggested she try to get out, now that the weather is nice enough to do so, and she promised me she would. This week she tells me she did!

We talked about what happened to her and slowly she is beginning to see and remember, telling me her husband and she was driving to church one morning when she was involved in this accident that took her legs and five days later, her husband’s life. These were facts she could not recall until someone started to talk to her and help her try to remember.

I asked her if she was a religious person and she said: yes, however when I asked what her religion was, she couldn’t tell me. So I knew from a previous conversation that she was of Russian extraction, I said Russian Orthodox, and she jumped quickly to say “Yes”.

Then she asked me if I knew the Hail Mary. I said Yes and she tried to say it herself, but could not get beyond the second line, so I asked her if she could read and she said Yes to that. My thinking was maybe there is a Russian prayer book in English that I might be able to find, and promised her if I could I would bring one to her. My wife found one on the internet and we ordered it for her. Next week she will have it, a Russian Prayer Book, to give her solace, peace-of-mind and maybe even companionship.

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