A very dear friend of ours in in hospital, and has been since early December; her ailment has been very hard to track down, much the less treat, but there is hope that she will be going home in a couple of weeks.
Barb has been spending almost all her free time with our friend (and her husband), providing moral support, physical help when the nursing staff's otherwise engaged, and making sure that nothing medically important is missed. (And yes, I have encouraged this; I'm OK on my own through the day, and these folks really need her.)
And while it's exhausting, Barb inicated that it's actually easier than spening time with me, because her friend is not in a lot of pain; some discomfort and frustration, yes, but nothing like that which she has to witness in my company.
There, she's useful; she can provide practical help (like rearranging the room for feasible lavatory acces while the nursing staff is too busy). Here, Barb feels helpless, and there's really no worse experience under these circumstances.
I'm not sure what the moral is here, except maybe that having to watch omeone in constant severe pain really sucks.
But maybe there's something else, that I need to be cognizant of how hard it is for Barb to see me hurting. Not that I should hide the pain, which would be quite impossible, but that I need to understand the effect on her heart, and hold her in both prayer and sympathy.
Here's a sonnet that may be appropriate:
My wife will spend Valentine’s Day
at work and with a friend
in hospital, who sees no way
that her life will ever mend.
She’ll arrive home at ten
exhausted and in pain,
eat and sleep and rise and then
do it all again.
We are not made for celebration
nor for mere romance
our lives are meant for consecration
by Jesus, Lord Of The Dance.
For love of us, in Passion grim,
He asks that we might live for Him.
Music from The Hollies, with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.