Today has been a sad day for me, one I haven’t experienced since 1999. Today, I visited a close friend at Hospice. If you have never visited a Hospice, be thankful. It is an eerie site as you enter.
Entering the pleasant, appealing facility, I signed in and started walking along the wide, open corridors, peering into a room here and there, seeing people of all types and ages. Not wanting to invade their privacy, I continued my journey. Finding my friend’s room, I knocked, entered, seeing that she was asleep. I sat next to her bed, touching her ever so lightly on the arm. She opened her eyes, smiled and said, “Hello.”
The TV was on, so I sat quietly, listening to “The View.” Never have I watched that program and although I listened, I could not quote one word discussed. I did note Barbara Walters looked well, but this program could be a re-run. Don’t even ask me who else was on the show, with exception of Whoopie Goldberg. While my friend dozed, I sat by her side, still listening to the chattering TV and noticing people as they walked along the corridor.
Hospice interiors leave me chilled. I’m not exactly the type of personality to sit and watch TV while one sleeps but my friend is ill and today I felt the need to be there for her, not for myself.
The room was decorated nicely, I suppose, for a Hospice. A framed picture of Church Street, Downtown Charleston hangs on the wall. On a shelf are several books, untouched, perhaps dusty, although I didn’t reach high enough to check. The top shelf contained books of some of my favorite authors — Danielle Steele, Pat Conroy and other authors I cannot recall. Because I am not exactly a tall person, I could not stretch high enough to reach them and really wasn’t interested in scanning any of them. Today, I was visiting my friend, not doing something that interests me. On another shelf sat a framed picture of my friend’s daughter and her grandchildren. Such a beautiful family smiled back at me. Today, their smiles are a bit hard to bear, knowing the mother and grandmother is in a Hospice, fighting for her life. Today, life has changed significantly for all of them. Tomorrow will be another day, bright with sunshine. Birds will still chirp and fly away. The skyline will fill the earth will warmth and the promise of more days to come. Tomorrow holds a promise of laughter, hopes and dreams for the future while my friend battles to see tomorrow as the clock of time fades away. Today I was able to kiss her gently on the cheek, whisper words of assurance and love and walk outside to enjoy the warm spring sunshine while my friend battles to see another day. Today, I am thankful for being her friend, and tomorrow I will reach out to see her again.