Let’s ask him


Time can be so deceiving at different points along the way for some of us. Many expressions shape this fact:

  • Time flies
  • Time seems to stand still
  • Frozen in time
  • Time dragged on
  • Gaining time
  • Lost time

We all know, on some level eventually, time is a constant. Never faster or slower; time is just ticking away.  We live our lives around a generally accepted value of how much we have and what we need to do during a very large part of it. There are, however, events in our lives that change our routine time management. Some of these are relocations, vacations, new jobs, graduations, anniversaries, births, accidents, disasters and deaths.  Over a life span, relationships develop and end that can affect our perception of time just as much.

Relief is the word I would use to describe the expression of the parents’ recognition of my name from my Hospice name badge. Smiling through wet swollen eyes she held my hand and said, “We’re so glad it’s you.” My mind raced for the connection and quickly filed through thousands of faces, names, and places to draw the conclusion. “Wow,” I said, “it has been quite a while.” Walking past the child on the living room couch, I seemed invisible to him as he stared through me at the cartoons on TV. The tiny kitchen was very neat, and the three of us stood in an awkward triangle for a few seconds. I pulled out a chair for her and said “I don’t think he remembers me.” “Well”, his mom said, “he was pretty young when you met him. But he does remember you playing that little green guitar because he talks about that sometimes.” Laughter faded quickly into tears.  “I would like to see if he remembers me?” I asked. Careful to not block the TV screen, I squatted beside him and gently said, “Hey buddy do you remember me?” He looked at his mom and she rattled off a series of names and places to which he responded by one slight nod and then focused back on the TV screen. “I’m feeling sick mom”, he said holding his stomach. While his parents walked quickly through the house for the basin, he leaned forward enough to reach the edge of the couch and vomited bright red blood onto the floor and my shoes. As mom and I cleaned up, he sat stoically watching cartoons. “He has been doing this since we got home from the hospital today,” his mom said. I called the doctor, was immediately transferred to him, and we spoke for a few minutes.

Back in the kitchen the father sat at the small table and mom leaned against the wall softly crying. I stood in the door way watching the child watching TV and said “Would you like me to call 911?” Mom looked at the admission papers and said “I know what they said to you but I can’t sign those.  I just can’t.” Dad held her tight and shook his head slowly. “Let’s ask him what he wants to do,” I suggested. We walked into the living room and more blood splattered the basin. As mom cleaned him up, I sat beside him and said “You’re real sick buddy, and you can go back to the hospital right now if you want to.” I held his hand and he looked at me and then at his mom and said, “No, I wanna be with PopPop.”

Quietly and peacefully that next day, the time came. Yet the love continues. Across the world every day the cycle of life gives and takes.  What remains constant are time and hope that we may share in love with those around us.

Caring Choices encourages the love to be shared, the stories to be told, the moments to be cherished and the questions to be asked. Please talk to those you love today.

© 2014 Caring Choices