08 April 2016

And Into the Heart of the Matter

Postscript at 6:30 PM: Out of surgery and in Recovery. I am waiting to see her. She will be on the way to the Intensive Care for the weekend.

And at 10:00 PM: Home again. My son and I visited with her in the ICU. She is exhibiting short term memory lapses and some little cognitive things but otherwise no problems that were not expected, and certainly none of the potential problems that one gets warned about when they go deeply into this area of the head. All these symptoms are normal after a brain trauma and will pass. Her face 'lit up' when she saw my son even through the fog of postoperative fuzziness.

And so I thank you all who expressed your thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement, and the many more who I know were thinking the same. I have to say this was an interesting two days.

Surgery in a few hours (2 PM start)

As you probably know by now in your own lives, when a real crisis comes you hurry about, getting information, making the financial and practical arrangements, dealing with the most pressing matters as they come, correcting the little mistakes that cause problems later, comforting and reassuring those who need it, informing those who are in confusion, and doing what you feel that must be done, finding the limits of your ability and then repeatedly pushing them into resistance and the unknown. And this is how our talents become skills.

And then at last, when what can be done is done, you retire to a quiet place, and perhaps a tear or two as there is no shame in this, since after all we are wholly human, and then say 'thy will be done.'

We do this all the time. This is what it means to be an adult, to be fully human. But it seems that only at certain times do we become aware of it, more acutely conscious of our roles in life as father and mother, husband and wife, loving child and capable professional, friends and lovers.

Always there are the angels, the unexpected people you encounter who have great hearts and helping kindness. And even in our distress, there are encounters when we too can help and comfort someone else in a similar situation. You see them in the waiting rooms, with their mothers and spouses and friends, and you in turn provide some relief and comfort for them. Suffering is a great humanizer and leveler. There is a fraternity of those who come to understand this; they see it in each other's eyes.

This is when we are most truly human, fully aware of our dependency and vulnerability and our true place in things, of who we really are: sinners, but attempting great things, moving forward in fear and trembling, as best as our lights may lead us.

Have a pleasant weekend.