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In the end just like a baby

September 21, 2007

The sky is pink puffy purple over gray smoke with a dark blue horizon. There are crickets and birds and as our earth turns itself toward the day of sunshine and light this will be the last day for someone. Many someones. I see my patients faces in my mind and wonder if anyone has touched their cheek, smiled at them, spoke directly to them in a meaningful way. The sun continues to come up over the city, over the hospital that I was born in. All I remember is my mother telling me of the big black nurse in the delivery room laughing and saying to her, “Look, she’s comin out dancin!” My mother had no idea what that meant at the time but I was coming out breech, feet first. And there I landed and have stayed save for a brief but intense period of heavy drug abuse/use. I stand now over my patients seeing in their faces a life I do not know. I history I will never understand. What was important to them. What they loved. Who they hated. What their dreams and fears are. I see the old man I took care of yesterday with a rectal tube, unable to speak much, clenched, tight, disoriented, sleepy, hair growing out of the top of his nose, his black and gray bushy eyebrows, his blue eyes and his smile. He used to drink a case of beer a night but gave it up 20 years ago. He would have been 54 when he jumped on that wagon. Only 17 years older than I am now. Not so old I can’t think or imagine what 54 might be like. And then 20 more years fly by, his wife dies, he slowly looses his mind with out her. He is small baby, smiling, innocent and needy. Helpless and at someones mercy. Now an old man, coiling in against himself, withdrawing from life slowly. First his will, then his mind, then his body. I want to hold him and shush him. Touch his cheek and make him feel like he is in his mothers arms again. In the arms of someone who loves him and his innocence. There is still that life you have lived. Somewhere. Buried before you really die.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2007 5:17 pm

    You have such an enormous heart.

  2. September 25, 2007 3:20 am

    This is beautiful, by the way.

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