Tuesdays, the Slice of Life Community is hosted by Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers.
Some of you know that my husband has Parkinson’s Disease with Lewy Body Dementia. It is not a good thing to have. This past year has been very tough. Because of his decline, I’ve had to place him in a nursing home because I could no longer care for him. Most recently, he has been sick with a UTI (urinary tract infection), evidently the plague of elder people at risk with other health problems. So the slice of my life since last Thursday has been in a hospital, helping with my husband’s care, especially trying to wake him up enough to try to eat something. Then reading or writing while he slept, which was most of the time.
Hospitals create their own worlds, I have realized, with special rules and communities, people who wear badges hanging around their necks, and people who laugh when they can because much of the time they could be crying. There are computers for each patient in the rooms and a phone that I can call the nurse with instead of a button pushed. Each nurse and nurse assistant carry pager phones. Tech has entered this world.
I write all this because I am a teacher/learner and I am grateful for and interested in the things that have been available to my husband and me as we take this journey. Every little thing counts when all one wants is to make someone feel better. However, I am also grateful for the professional staff that have cared for him and for me. They ask how they can help me, what I think my husband needs, and then the next one who enters the room asks again. I value their knowledge even more, but kindness means a lot too.
And then there are those in the elevator, asking why I’m there, offering sympathy, and telling me their stories too. I’ve seen newborns leave the hospital with deliriously happy, and already tired looking parents. And one young man told me with tears in his eyes that his wife of nine months had just been diagnosed with cancer. I see solemn families sitting around tables in the lobby, talking and hugging. And I see happy families going to see the newest members of their family. (I can tell by the gifts they carry.)
Tonight, I browsed Facebook and a blogger friend posted the following with a beautiful piece of art, which I can’t share, but the words seemed like a gift to me, and perhaps to all of us slicers. I love it, don’t you?
September 10th was Mary Oliver’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Mary, and thank you for the words.
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.” --Mary Oliver
photo credit: Lucid Nightmare via photo pin cc