I’ve gotten a number of e-mails from you all checking on me. You cannot know how much I appreciate you.
I’m fine. Really. The house is in disarray, but we’re one of the really lucky ones. Very minimal damage, and I’ll save that for a “real” post this week.
I think most of my silence has stemmed from a rather severe case of melancholia. I just made that up. It sounds so much more glamorous than d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-o-n.
There’s no good reason. At all. I’m very blessed, because we’re all healthy. And together. Which is why I’m embarrassed to even say anything. But, I know y’all go through this too. And the stupid thing is, that when we feel backed into a sad corner, we just hide. I know I do. The last thing I do is reach out and talk to someone about it.
So, I’m talking. Which is step one toward pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I’ll have more to say later. Probably much more. Just warning you.
For now, I wanted to let you know that I’m okiedokie. And thank you for being there.
My sister-in-law, Sue, sent this to me this morning. I thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with you.
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
‘Your son is here,’ she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, h e waited.
Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
‘Who was that man?’ he asked.
The nurse was startled, ‘He was your father,’ she answered.
‘No, he wasn’t,’ the Marine replied. ‘I never saw him before in my life.’
‘Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?’
‘I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn’t here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.’
The next time someone needs you … just be there. Stay.