Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mrs Jones* Part II

“Mrs. Jones* open your mouth for some tomato soup”, I coax.

“I’m opening my mouth for ‘mata soup” she replies as the spoon is in her mouth, thus causing the drenching by tomato soup as described in the last blog.

Mrs. Jones had a practice of repeating everything you say. Another one of her charms.

“Let me help you out of bed,” I offer.

“Miss Betty is helping me out of bed”

One day I was feverishly working to complete my tasks for the day when I hear a terrified Mrs. Jones screaming “Miss Betty! Miss Betty! I can’t see! I can’t see!”

I rush to room 603, not sure of what I will encounter. Mrs. Jones lay there in bed frantic. I am no medical genius but I diagnosed her problem immediately.

“Mrs. Jones…. you need to open your eyes.”

As if this were a new idea, she hesitantly lifted her lids and instantly the world around her was no longer dark. Relief washed over the face of this precious woman. “OH! Miss Betty!” was her thankful reply.

We all forget things…our keys, our mother-in-law’s birthday, but I am still waiting for the day I forget to open my eyes.

It’s not entirely out of the question if you know me.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mrs. Jones* Part I

“Miss Betty! Miss Betty!” I turned the corner on the 6th floor of Harris Methodist Hospital and a mixture of delight and weariness crossed my emotions. She’s calling for me again. Now I know what you are thinking. My name is not Betty. You know that and I know that, but Mrs Jones* in room 603 does not know that.

Mrs. Jones holds the award for “favorite patient ever” and “most draining patient ever” in my short 6 years in the nursing field. She needs everything, she doesn’t know much about what’s going around on her, but the one thing she does remember is “the Lord, oh how he blesses us Miss Betty.” I love her. Though some have heard these stories and may tire of them again, I will dedicate a few blogs to the 1 week I spend with Mrs. Jones and the adventures therein.

There was never a question about what Mrs. Jones needed at any given time because she would pray for it out loud. Very Loud.
“Dear Lord, I pray you bring me down a warm blanket” She’s cold, I deduce.

“Dear Lord, I pray you bring me some holy water!” She’s thirsty.

“Dear Lord, could you send me some chitlins?” Well, the closest I could come to that was tomato soup.

I fed her the tomato soup. It was your garden variety Campbells Tomato Soup. Nothing special.

“Oh Miss Betty, this is the best ‘mata soup I ever ate!” she says while spewing tomato soup all over my face. “Did you make it?” I informed her that Campbells made it. She said “Well could you tell him to put onion in it? I would like that”.

So Mr. Campbell, if you’re out there…..Mrs. Jones would like onion in that soup.

*The names of those involved have been changed to protect their identity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Peace as the World Gives

I was at conference in Washington DC this September for HIV Nutrition. The mixture of caregivers in the HIV community is interesting. You have the Christians (like myself) who are in the biz to love on those in a disparaging situation. (The four day work weeks don’t hurt either) There are also those that are not Christian, but truly great humans that have been affected by the disease in one way or the other, trying to give back and fight this awful disease. Now there are those that do not fit either category, but from my observation these are the primary subsets.

Getting back to the conference….the last session was titled “Grace under Pressure”. Sounds good to me! I was the first in the room, a “front rower” ready to hear what this session had to offer those of us in this emotionally draining field.

The first part sounded good, a couple of breathing exercises, mind clearing activities. It wasn’t until we started chanting and looking for our “inner light” that I got a little scared. Not really scared but felt really “icky”. I could not participate, I had to sit there and pray because I felt the awful feeling of deceit and despair filling the room. What’s crazy is it seemed I was the only one who noticed. People looked up from the exercise with peaceful feelings saying “oh that’s great” “I really found my inner light” “I could stay here forever!”

Forever? I was miserable. Then God whispered the words in the title of this blog to my shaken little heart. It made so much sense to me! I have not doubt that my colleagues felt peace at that moment, but I could see the shallow fleeting nature of it. I felt like Buck Williams in the Left Behind Series in the Board room with Nicolae right after he was saved (Come on! You know you read them!). He could see the deceit happening around him, while others could not.

Peace as the World Gives….. Compare it to the temporary “buzz” of yoga (as in the afore mentioned case), tobacco, alcohol, drugs, buying something new, eating a great meal….. Enjoyable activities that can give peace- if only for a second. What is tragic is that this is the only peace some will ever know.

Enter the “Peace that passes all understanding”. A lasting peace. Not fleeting, not weird…just really profound. I’ve found myself praying this over people.
That they would know this peace and that the peace that they are chasing would be exposed for the shallow fleeting band aid that it is.

I pray this for myself as well. That I will follow hard after this enduring breed of peace.

Monday, October 24, 2005


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