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Thursday, July 14, 2016

WHAT MATTERS?

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Recently, we have been all reading about; ‘Black Lives Matter’ Blue Lives Matter’ and of course, ‘All Lives Matter.’ These phases are fueled by the hate that transpired with the attacks on policemen, a sad commentary on American Society.

As I have said before, I visit a woman who permanently resides in a rehab facility in Southampton. A frail sickly woman, who is very sensitive and sweet, she sits in her wheelchair and waits from one meal to the next, no one to talk to, no family and friends. Her life was over years ago when she was involved in a terrible auto accent that killed her husband and left her without her legs! The trauma of the accident left her with memory loss and difficulty bridging her thoughts in verbal form. One arm  sits at her side, a mere appendage with no function left, and the other arm her only source of control of her body and the punitive world around her.

I wrote on my birthday how sad I was because that day I visited her to give her a prayer book she said she wished she had, A Russian Orthodox English version of the prayer book. I asked her if she read at all and she assured me she could. I couldn’t find her anywhere that day when I came to visit and was directed to her bedroom, where I found her asleep in her bed, so I left the prayer book on her serving tray and as I was leaving a nurse came in and woke her, so I returned to her bedside. She was pale, hardly able to open her eyes and her voice was weak and very low. It pained her to see me and so I said I had her prayer book and would leave it for her, as the nurse inserted some kind of reader contraption onto the point of her index finger.
I left very apprehensive and felt that maybe the end was near. I decided to return today, thinking I would call first to get a heads up on her condition. I called the rehab facility and after repeated attempts by the operator, and receptionist I could not get through. So I decided to just go and see for myself how she is.

I got off the elevator and said hello to one nurse I knew, and then turned the corner and started toward her room, down a long corridor, which houses the nurses station at the end of it. As I approached, I notice the nurses who knew me were watching me as I came toward them, conferring like something was going on. As I passed my friends room, her name was no longer there and though maybe they moved her. But the nurses gathered together and came up to me, it was then I knew my friend had passed, just as I feared.

Although I feel sad about her passing, I also feel glad that she did, for her sake. It seems she just gave up her spirit and passed. No fanfare or drama, no sobbing or fear, just her will,
to pass as the nurses explained it to me.

I truly hope that she got a chance to read her prayer book, that it gave her some solace in her final hours, maybe it was what she needed and this was God’s way to give someone who has suffered greatly in her past, without friends or family a chance to find comfort. Maybe my daughter’s broken leg was for a reason, without my daughter in that rehab to recover, my friend would not have met me, and I would not have gotten her a prayer book she wished she had, something she requested prior to her last days and my last reading.

Somewhere up in Heaven she sits, not without legs or use of her arms, but with a spirit that rests from the turmoil and tragedy of her past. She is now an equal to all who have past. Small in stature: never diminutive in heart, but with her soul and spirit now who she is, like all of us will someday be!

But we do not take the time to think about people like my friend, they are shut up somewhere in a nursing home or hospital, never to be counted again as part of the world, just a statistic in this cold world.

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