There are times I'm so thankful for "Memories," found on Facebook. I remember this day a year ago. The patient I met who was blind, who has completed his journey, became a friend before his death. I know I will meet him, and a countless other hospice patients I have met, again one day.
From this day a year ago:
Blue bonnets, baby squirrels and time with a man who is blind this morning.
Years ago I wrote these words, "Sometimes the things of this world, or the next, can only be seen through the eyes of others."
The baby squirrel, being cared for by a personal nurse, who is also the caregiver to a man who lost his eyes to cancer, quietly rested on the man's lap as we talked this morning.
He shared about his life, the things he had done, "before all this happened to me."
He described beaches he walked, mountains he climbed, and the "smile of my soul mate."
"She will be there to greet me when I die. It will be soon."
I couldn't help but look at the face of a sightless man who can see perfectly the world around him and of the world he will encounter next.
His sharing reminded me of a patient I encountered during my residency at M D Anderson Cancer Center. The fourteen year old girl had a rare form of cancer that would require the removal of both eyes. Just days after her surgery her family was tuned into television reruns of the "Golden Girls." The patient laughed at the jokes and was able to remember the color of Blanche's dress. "It's purple," the girl shared with her mother.
"Yes," her mother affirmed.
Today the man spoke of the peace that he has about, "many things."
"Like this squirrel that had no idea that someone was about to cut down the tree it was living in, and how he would be left with other babies on the ground. Or that someone would know how to pick him up with the other babies and wrap them and feed them."
"I'm about as comfortable as this squirrel, and I'm dying."
"I can see it all clearly."
We know that faith is believing in all things we cannot see. Believing is hearing the words of a blind man who tells you what he can see and knows to be true.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.