Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12

A couple of stories for you...

I was called to an imminent death recently of a 97 year old. His brother is 94 and is also in hospice care. Their wives died 5 years ago, 2 months apart. I had met this man just a week before and he told me some wonderful stories of living like a hobo when he was a teenager. He and others would jump on trains and ride around the country, sleep in barns, work a day here and there. He was a business owner most of his life and shortly before he died, he had tried his hand at flower arranging. And he was a day trader! He lived his life abundantly. His family knew when he died that he had given life all that he could. That made letting him go a little easier for them.

I met with a patient that was mostly Buddhist, but loves much about other eastern religions. I read her Rumi poetry and imagined with her what it will be like when she dies. I remember as a kid, sitting out on the street curb, under a light pole with a friend and talking about what heaven might be like. It seemed so distant then. I don't remember exactly but I am sure we imagined lots of beauty - flowers and colors and people that looked just like us. I would imagine that I have always thought heaven would have books and ice cream. My mom would have thought that it could only be heaven if it included sewing machines and lots and lots of fabric. I still don't know what heaven will look like but I can only imagine that it will be filled with children of God. And many, that do not look like me, act like me, believe like me, but love others like me.

I heard a great fable today - short version...a kid loved to draw and kept drawing people in the horizontal position, then people with broken body parts, and people that were bleeding. The parents were worried and took the young boy to a counselor. During therapy, the counselor had the boy draw more pictures and he drew the same kind of pictures. The counselor asked him what was he thinking about when he drew these pictures. The boy said, about what I am going to do when I grow up. Be a doctor and how I can help people. Sometimes, what we see is not part of the story.

And by the way, I am missing the autumn in Indiana. My favorite season! October in Florida is not quite the same but the humidity is low and the temperatures are dropping a little. So life is good!

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