Thursday, September 23, 2010

She's Gone Away

I've been visiting and bringing communion to an elderly woman, who I'll call May, for nearly two years every Sunday unless one of us was sick or out of town.

Over time May would share or indicate that she felt she had lost the meaning of her life. She couldn't see how her life mattered anymore and was ready to die. She would ask why God kept her alive. She was terrified of living in a nursing home. She would have periods of sequestering herself away followed by periods of engaging with others.

When she would engage with others and share about these experiences she just glowed. I told her a number of times that she had a gift for listening and a knack for asking just the right questions. I had hoped that she would find meaning, her meaning within her interactions with others.

But something changed and it changed all of a sudden. I had gone to visit but she wasn't there, so when I returned the following week we visited. And in the course of our conversation I realized that she didn't know who I was. So I worked in my name within our conversation, but that didn't seem to help. And then I realized she was anxious because she didn't know why I was there with her. So I asked her if she would like to have communion now and she said no. I then asked her if she would like me to return next Sunday and she said yes.

Over the course of the next month May would become more confused, and she was returning to a time of her childhood. And that's when I began to prepare myself that one Sunday I would visit and she would no longer be there because to live where she was requires a certain amount of being able to take care of yourself and a certain amount of presentness.

Last Sunday was the Sunday where her small "apartment" was completely empty. Even though I knew it was coming, I miss May. I worry about May - she's now where she was most afraid of going.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Physical Therapy

So I met with my docter for my amazingly short post-op appointment; however, all looks well in the land of my internal part. She said I can stay off the expensive med, but stay on the other med until I can start physical therapy and see how that goes. If all goes really well I may be medicine free. So, I've never been more excited to start physical therapy in my life; however, the physical therapist is booked until the end of October (but I'm first to call on the cancellation list).

I also want to throw a cyber thank you to my wife for being with me while I waited to go into the surgical area, and for waiting with me in the recovery area. I wish hospitals could be a less scary space, and I suppose if you work there it isn't a scary space. But, when you're there cause you're body needs lookin at or fixin it's a scary space (at least it is for me). I wonder if as I go on more Pastoral Care team visits the hospital will change for me; I hope so, and I hope I can for that brief time help someone else feel less worried/afraid/alone too.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

And they send me on my way

I went before the vestry with my PDC rep and gave a brief statement, and then answered the questions the Vestry members had, and then they voted (all in favor) to support my application/recommnedation to the Bishop for postulancy.

When I left the meeting I had to "pinch myself" it hadn't quite settled into my sense of reality. Then I called the wife to tell her the wonderful news.

Now I'll be able to meet with the Bishop and if that goes well start what I call the diocesan side of the discernment process. Hopefully, I can meet with him by early October. But, what I'm really hoping for is to meet with him before the end of September; we'll see.


I had my procedure today. There is one very small area but not enough for me to be on really expensive medicine. So, by Tuesday that will be my last dose. I'll meet with the doctor on Friday and see where we go from here.

Tomorrow I get the last of my stitches out. Let me tell ya, gum grafts hurt.

Life is good.