Sunday, July 8, 2007

masquerading as a normal person...

Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting. ~Anonymous~

I love that quote!

My friend Pat who I lovingly and gratefully refer to as my mentor, entered into the Hospice program last July. Last August I stayed overnight with her in her room and then per her request went to her apartment in Binghamton to pick out any art work that I might like.

I picked out several wonderful things and one of them was a framed and matted b&w photo of children frolicking in the grass. It's a great pic! There is a bit of tall grass in the lower left corner slightly shorter going over to right corner. There are two little children (mostly in focus) immediately after the taller grass but you don't really see much of them because they are lying on their backs in the grass but you do see their bare arms, legs and feet extended upward into the air. The little child in the foreground is also holding a small bouquet of flowers in one hand. Beyond the children - the grass, wild flowers and taller brush is out of focus. The above quote is underneath the picture.

Black and white photography is my favorite and I could study the pics forever.

Who among us hasn't needed to do something wild and crazy - just for the fun of it or felt like regressing back to the carefree days of being a young child?

Maybe we adults need to go find a field of wild flowers in which to kick off our shoes and lie on our backs in the tall grass doing the horizontal hokey poky while simultaneously singing the hokey poky, laughing or just shouting LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA as loud as we can! :)

*Pat is still alive- even though at the time she was told she only had about 3 weeks to live. She has had several close calls and then always rallies back much to the amazement of her doctors and other care givers. Also, it is much to her dismay- as she would tell you that she is ready to go to her eternal home. She is unable to do almost anything for herself and so is still in the same facility but not as a hospice patient. She has spent most of her life ministering in various capacities to other people and she is still doing so from her sick bed- profoundly touching the hearts and spirits of many through her unconditional acceptance, wise counsel, deep personal faith and joyous spirit - even amidst the extreme physical challenges of her declining health that she endures from moment to moment.

I was speaking with her on the phone last July on the night before she was to move into her hospice room. She was terribly weak and exhausted and should not have been alone in her apartment even then. She was in the middle of deciding what few things she could take with her to decorate her room, etc., when I had called. During our conversation, I had mentioned that I was working on a resume and that I was going to be contacting some doctors and other co-workers for some references. She immediately said she would like to write a letter of recommendation for me! I deeply appreciated her thoughtfulness but wanted her to save her strength. After all - she had been told she had three weeks to live and had more important things to focus on. She insisted and that night she selflessly sat at her computer, typed and then e-mailed a wonderful letter of recommendation to me. She gave me a beautiful gift that I will always cherish. I did joke with her prior to her writing it and asked her to tone it down because years ago she had written a recommendation for me that could have been my eulogy!


Chrysalis Angel said...

That's so sad Seaspray. I know what it is to lose those we love so much. I feel for you both. What a great connection to have made though. You've both won in that.

Sisyphus said...

I don't know what to say. I can relate to both your own thoughts, your dear friend's thoughts that she is ready to leave her physical state and how awful it must be for her to continue each day with her undoubted distress, also recollections from my own past experiences as relative, friend or doctor variously. Very moving post, SeaSpray. I hope when the time comes your friend is allowed a peaceful, comfortable passage.

SeaSpray said...

Thanks Chrysalis and Sis. :)

We do our share of laughing amidst all this. We find humor in even the most difficult trials and of course the funny stuff too and we have shared tears as well.

We have been as real as friends can get. She refers to me as her little sis because she is 9 years older. I love it because I am an only child - well raised as one and I don't know my other siblings.

At one point last fall when they didn't think she was going to make it she actually thought she was in heaven. I really wonder what she was seeing? She doesn't remember any of it though.