Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Five Weeks Ago
What a beautiful day -- sunshine, blue skies and all the sights that spell 'country' around here. Ditches full of dandelions, (less lovely, also dozens of dead deer- it is mating season and no one is as cautious as they should be), horses and cows and goats, and a big sign that read "BULL" in front of a cattle farm. Windmills, of course, that look so odd next to old farm houses. I also saw a horse and buggy scared into a ditch by a huge 18-wheeler, and saw him get safely back out again.
I drove for about two hours today through the countryside to make a 15 minute visit with a patient. Some patients want to sit and talk for hours, but many of them are too worn out to visit and I want to be sure not to use the strength they need for their families.
The man I visited was very weak, it was hard for him to talk. When I asked him how today was going for him he said that it was just about the same as yesterday. I knelt beside his chair and held his hands as he told me that, just 5 weeks ago, he weighed 200 pounds and was working around his own property. Now he weighs 170 at best, and is too weak to stand. He shook his head as he looked at me. My eyes burned with tears when he told me that losing so much weight was a blessing in a way, because it made it easier for his wife and boys to care for him now that he was not such a big man. I told him I liked the way he thinks and that he still seems like a big man to me.
On the long drive home I tried to remember what I was doing five weeks ago. I have no idea. But what I know for sure is that today I will try to show and tell the people I love how much I care about them, that I will swallow any unnecessary criticism, and that I will be grateful for every minute of this very beautiful day.