Three senior citizen moments: (experiences I often relate to over fifties folks which are the occasions for us smiling, laughing, and enjoying each other's company)
1. "You know, I am having a really good day. I got up this morning, went and got my newspaper, went to the obit page, and didn't see my picture there. I sure was relieved!"
2. "A lot of folks our age are always moaning and groaning about the good old days. Well, I spent a lot of happy times and scary times growing up in the Southwest in the forties and fifties. If those were the good old days, I must have missed something!"
3. (this happens all the time when I meet some lucky person who is still able to take nourishment in her/his seventies, eighties, or nineties) "68, you're 68? Just a pup, huh?"
Oh, well, this "young pup" was very happy to get up this last Friday, feeling wide awake and full of zip (that's right, my life has improved very, very much, since I started choosing to seriously accept my sleep apnea, use my cpap machine diligently, and turn the lights off and hit the pillow by eleven pm) and to have the chance to head on out for St. Joe's Hospital and love some patients through some tough challenges.
Here's a picture of a bright, warm (can you believe it actually was not raining) Friday morning.
Loving folks is tough, isn't it? After a whole lot of talking and listening and being together, I think we are still just wonderful mysteries to one another--- we can name and tell stories focused on our hurts and our hopes.
But there's always another dream, another story, another blunder or blessing we can move through that gives more depth to the living miracle of creativity that each one of us is.
So much more to come to understand and accept and learn... what does loving require of me: Stopping, Looking, and Listening!
So much happened today: one patient accepting that tomorrow she'll be finally going home and learning how to move a little slower and sincerely through her day; another convinced that with loving friends and a loving God he would soon be able to get outside and take those long walks he so dearly loves; two parents proudly taking their newly born baby home... some folks really did not have the energy nor patience to permit me to come and sit with them; others thanked me for stopping by. I was so grateful to have been allowed to listen to, support, pray with, and sense God's loving presence with them. I had a lot to record at the end of the day... with old time jazz playing on my radio, pin in hand, and tally sheets that helped me to note how many patients I had spent time with, in what way I had met them, and what services I had performed for them in front of me, I ended my day quietly and with a lot of good memories of a very challenging and rewarding day.
"Young pup, huh!" Well, at the end of the day, I was so happy to have been able to get up, get going, and be teased and ignored and by a whole lot of folks. I was so blessed to be able to still move and smell and hope...