Sunday, February 24, 2008

All Ages

A red letter day in my weekly routine is to visit the cardiac and vascular wards of our hospital. I meet heart patients of all ages and conditions; it's an inspiration to observe the fortitude and simulated calm with which they wait for what comes.

The oldest ones especially inspire me, and I make a special effort to instill encouragement into our dialogue: "You're 88; wow; you don't look that old." The nonogenarians in particular generally show a demeanour that I look forward to achieving. It's as if "been there; don't that" applies to everything in their experience, and they're glad to be where they are--- not all of them, but most of them. Speaking in general those without a positive outlook are no longer with us.

After a prayer, when I'm leaving I generally say something like "I hope I make it" (92, whatever); many or most of them say calmly, "you will". I don't know whether I do much for them, but they sure do a lot for me.

"Help somebody today;
somebody along life's way
Let sorrow be ended,
the friendless befriended,
Oh, help somebody today!

In all likelihood they are desperately short of volunteers at your local hospital. If you feel able to meet all ages, you will be very welcome there.

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