A CARING COMMUNITY
The community that I spend the majority of my time in is filled with doctors, nurses, techs, patients and pharmacists. Each of the members of this society is required to complete the course of Caring 101 before entering the professional side of this society. As a member of this community enters my apartment, their heart opens its door and invites me in.
The road leading to my community is an interstate highway consisting of eight lanes of traffic congestion and tall glass buildings disappearing in the clouds. The garage I park my car in is a maze with ten levels of parking winding around like the threads on an enormous cement screw.
The decorations and accents of the main building in my apartment complex are marble, brass and rich cherry wood. I feel like I am entering the Renaissance Hotel. The hallway leading to my apartment is filled with people both day and night. I can hear the buzz of my neighbors carrying on a conversation. The halls are long and the further I go the richness of the surroundings fade into a bland green color with light colored industrial tile floors. I leave the marble, brass and rich cherry wood behind me to my imagination.
A room singing with birds as they play in a birdbath and orange goldfish brightly coloring a pond shows me that nature is just beyond the window and just beyond my touch. The birds chirp at the window as to say, “Welcome home”.
The furnishings in my apartment include a bed, a straight back chair and a cot. The sink and mirror are a part of the main room with a bathroom to the right of the entrance. The view from the window of my apartment is looking over the surrounding city, busy streets and people shuffling along the sidewalks. The window is my connection to the outside world from my community.
A knock at the door replaces the doorbell. Each person that knocks on the door and enters my apartment knows my name, knows that I have a son and knows that I have another home in the north Georgia mountains. I attempt to open my heart to each of them as they open their heart to me by sharing my thoughts, hopes and wishes with them.
I spend the majority of my time speaking in medical terms from the patient’s side of the fence and I challenge myself to understand every detail of treatment, tests and medicines. In an effort to bring myself to the level of the people in my community, I search the Internet for information on treatments, pharmaceutical breakthroughs and herbal supplements. This action replaces my past Internet experiences of shopping and playing.
It is hard to find a choice of restaurants in my community. I have certain hours to eat and the choices I have are limited. However, I would suggest the soup kitchen; this soup will stand up to a can of Campbell’s Soup anytime.
In my community, the floor supervisors and executives in the lavishly decorated offices enforce the laws and policies. Democracy is not evident in my community because I have no vote concerning the laws and people who enforce it.
The greatest thing about the community that I reside in is its ability to take a problem, challenge the problem and beat the problem. My extended family in my community gives me the strength for which I yearn and they give it to me from within. I take my community and its many drawbacks and I weigh them against the alternative of this community not being open to outsiders, and I find myself thankful for the love and support of my family, my friends and my community.
I am searching for the miracle highway that departs this community. I may not always physically be a part of this community but the caring members of this community have permanently engraved an impression in my heart.
I have since left this community now only to beckon its presence for a visit. My cup runneth over with the love and kindness shared in this community. It is my hopes that I may pay forward the love I have been given.
I am reminded by the memories of this community that the location and surroundings are unimportant when you are cloaked with the warmth of the ones you love and kind caring friends.
A special thanks to the staff at Crawford Long Hospital (now Emory) in Atlanta, especially the Oncology Wing and a special RN, Debby Wingo! The love and kindness you shared will never be forgotten. Thank you for our home away from home a comforting place for both myself and my late husband (Stacy).