Monday, August 27, 2012

life and the opposite

*Have you ever been less than satisfied.  Like a bad commercial, you turn into someone you are not.  You stand/button/zip up and start to walk away.  You pause wondering what to say and knowing no words are better than one.

*Long ago, in a galaxy far away I use to work in a nursing home.
 If you work with the elderly you are often faced with death.
  Death in it's purest form.  It's truest form.
You walk into the room and you just know.  There is no fear. 
If you walk into a room scared thinking the person is dead they are not.  Death in it's purest, truest sense is peace.
You have two people, as one closes the curtains and blinds the other closes the eyes and mouth. Closing off the world from this sacred duty.
 In a silent tandem you go about the job of washing the dead.
One person clips finger and toe nails as the other fills a bucket of water and collects the towels and washcloths.
You wash the eyes you just closed and around to the cheeks, forehead and lips to the chin.  The other person takes the gown off the arms and folds it down to cover the mid-section.
Quietly you wash and rinse and dry arms and chest and legs.  You work together to roll slowly and wash the back.  You put on a clean gown folding it up and wash the most intimate parts of that person who lays quietly, eyes closed.  A dignity you met in time.
You pad them twice to catch the last that comes out of them long after the body stops working.  A last condition.
You cover their body with a blanket and brush what is left of their hair,say a prayer and blanket the cover over their face.
You clean the buckets and rags and towels and leave the room.  Your work is done.
You go about your day, making believe your life has not changed.

*Last night he said it all and I sat in utter silents.  I could not match his voice, so strong with conviction, with the small boy I held.  I cried because he blamed himself for others' transgressions.  In in his weakest moment he demanded strength for himself.  'There is always worry in my support.'  I told him.  I didn't tell him it was because I still saw him as a little boy. 

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