Friday, December 09, 2005


How We Live

Out of the spotlight, we live.

One lives after the fire that wiped out her son and his wife and two children, this week, after the loss of her other son years ago, beyond the round of breast cancer she fought last summer. She said then, I'm not afraid. I have one son on each side. Now she hesitates at the edges she sees.

Another lives on after the knee transplant gone terribly wrong that resulted in the amputation of that leg. She lives in a tiny house on disability, dependent upon the decency (never mind kindness) of those who would enable her to live on. Her husband, never a powerhouse, wonders how he can nurture her; he has never been much of a caregiver.

Still another tends the flicker of her flame, glancing up to see the swift advance of the pancreatic cancer that will take her from children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, after a lifetime of loving. When Doc retired she didn't want another doctor. She won't have much time for one now. She cleaves to her faith. She has often prayed for Doc and even for me; now I pray for her, however rusty and uncertain my pleas. I lift them now.

Doc sits in his living room, upright only because medication gives him permission to be. He has tended the aches of the world, which now have sifted into his own bones. His patients have paid sometimes, often not. They have seen him as the father they never had, their best friend, their hero, a prescription pad, a drug connection. They have worshiped him. They have used him. They wonder how they will go on without him. He attempts to make the telephone calls that will give some measure of comfort to the patients who suffer. They call with hesitant questions about him, ask if he will ski this year, wonder if he will still see a few "select" patients. His wife and I keep them at bay.

Today the snow falls and seals us into our separate cocoons.

The people who make decisions about us know nothing of us, sit in meetings far away.

Blessed are they who mourn. Blessed are they who suffer. Blessed are they who whisper here.

Blessed are we.

I am not exactly clear if your post was fictitious or exaggerated, but it sounds like you need about 10 pounds of chocolate to gnaw on for the next few days.
pat pat pat
Heartbreakingly true, all of it.
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