Monday, July 21, 2008

Being with Mama and Papa: Part One

Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!

(This was written last week when the weather wasn’t as lovely as it was today!)

It’s mid-summer. That means hot and muggy (but lovely) here in Milwaukee and the mid-west at large. Thanks to the invention of air condition some long time ago, I sit in a comfortably tempered room in a comfortably tempered building.

I spent Thursday in an air-conditioned building as well, except this one felt a little too chilly. In my opinion, hospitals are always a little too cold to be comfortable. The chill in the air may be a bit of a psychological reaction on my part in regards to being in a place that we sometimes see as uncomfortable. After being at the hospital for a while yesterday, I came to the conclusion that it would be very difficult for me to work in a hospital environment. Besides the fact that I’ve ruled out the notion of becoming a nurse or doctor because I’m bad at science and math and because I don’t care to dive into either of the two fields as I continue on in school, I feel less than adequate in a medical setting. I sometimes get the impression that hospitals are very sterile and isolated, though the people in them are often warm and engaging. I suppose it takes a person with the ability to see beyond their environment to really excel in a hospital. After spending most of my Thursday in a hospital, I respect all staff members at hospitals, nursing homes, and other such facilities. They have truly blessed and warm hearts to serve in their respected jobs.

So why was I at the hospital? Well, a couple named Collette and Marcel (I call them Papa and Mama) had to be taken to the hospital. Papa Marcel woke up Thursday morning feeling incredibly tired and dizzy. Every time he tried to get out of bed, he said the room felt like it was spinning all around him. When we helped the poor man get out of bed, I realized just how weak he must have felt. He slowly dragged himself out of bed and then relied on his wife and me (though I felt more like a nuisance than anything else) to help him get down the steps to my car.

While in the car, I tried my best to keep Papa and Mama feeling as peaceful as they could in this very tense of situations. I surfed through a couple of radio stations and found one that was playing some world music. Though it probably didn’t sound much like anything the couple would have expected to hear in their native country of the Congo, I figured it was the closest thing I could offer them. Plus, it’s always fun to claim you have an eclectic musical taste–––even if it is a bit of a hoax.

In addition to turning on the radio, I offered Papa a prayer card I keep near my dashboard. It is a picture of Jesus with an image of the Sacred Heart. If you never seen it before, imagine a picture of Jesus with rays shooting of his heart. It’s a card that I kept in my car for quite sometime, sort of as a reminder while I drive not to drive terribly crazy, and as a way to remind me that I believe in a strange, strange way we are all connected by a Higher Spirit, what my faith tradition refers to as the “Holy Spirit.” Some people have rosaries hanging in their car. Others have guardian angel pins or Jesus figurines. I had my Sacred Heart picture. I say had because it is now in the possession of Papa Marcel. And that’s where it is now meant to be. I hope that, as he clutched onto the card on the ride to the hospital, he was able to soothe his mind from any of the worries the dizziness and sickness might have caused him to have. As awkward as the exchange of the card from me to him was, for Papa speaks little to no English and I speak…ahh…five words in French, the transaction was the only thing I could think of to do to show Papa that my prayers were with him as he hoped for the best.

Reflection to be continued in the coming days…

Peace and blessings!

With love,

Your friend bob.

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