Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It isn't Funny

This is what a woman said to me.....over and over again.
She was lying in the hospital bed, having trouble remembering why she was there.
She would start sentences with ...."the doctor said" and then she would pause and try to put her words together.

Her frustration and confusion are hard to watch.
But she was very clear about this: the doctor would come and make jokes and "it isn't funny" "it isn't funny". "it isn't funny"

It isn't funny to be recovering from surgery and confused,
It isn't funny to have your children deciding where you are going to live
It isn't funny to not be able to even sit up on your own.
It isn't funny
What it is is sad, and hard, and maybe even tragic. This is not what she or any of us expect but it often happens as we get older and weaker. We can have money and loving family, but we still may end up frail, dependent and waiting for someone else to make the decisions about our future.
I think of the scripture from John where Jesus says that "when you were young you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.". John 21:18 Just today when I learned that one of our church members was moved to a different nursing home because her children thought it was better for her than Oakleaf which is next to the church. and they might be right....these are all tough decisions.

I think of the scripture from Paul : Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say rejoice.".
I sit by her bed, hold her hand and pray. I give thanks for this moment of communion between two women of faith. Her mantra "It isn't funny" ceases and she looks peaceful with her eyes closed. It is time for me to leave.
I may not be laughing or rejoicing, but I am present.
To bear witness to her story today.

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