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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

She and He

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

I was given a beautiful gift today. It was the gift of a person being the best she can be.

In today’s world, there is always so much awful news. Economy is awful, politics are a mess, wars are going on and on the local level. it seems people are hurting and/or killing each other with reckless abandon.

So when a breath of fresh air comes in the form of a random act of kindness by a human being, it is so refreshing. It is necessary to stop and consider it and appreciate it.

I have two friends who have been diagnosed with terrible diseases. She has dementia. He has been diagnosed with clinical depression. I’ll refer to them as She and He.

Both are learned, intelligent, productive individuals. Then this hit. They, their families and friends are all having a period of adjustment as we try to live with understanding and compassion after learning of this news.

I and another friend were visiting She today. She has had the diagnosis for several years. Family and friends are trying to be as helpful as possible. She needs and appreciates the help but I believe sometimes we add to her feeling of “I can’t do anything.”

He has only had the diagnosis for the last several months. We were discussing our friend He, and She said, “I wonder if He would like to have company. I’d like to go see him.”

I responded by saying that I didn’t really know; I had just assumed that he didn’t want company. But come to think of it, I had not asked him. I realized that She wanted to give of herself, “something she could do,” to another person.

She said that she and He had developed a bond and she knew who his favorite poet was. She could read him some of those poems.

What a generous and gracious offer. I told her that I would ask him and see what he thought.

I called him and asked if he would like for her to come and read some poetry. He was moved to tears but said that he just was not ready to see people yet. When that time comes, She will be one of the first people He calls.

I am indeed blessed to have She and He as friends.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Beautiful, Mary. I hope He allows She to come visit. Somehow, I believe You will be involved.

How very touching of She to want to read to He. A friend in need is a friend indeed, so I am sure you all will help each other to be shoulders to lean on.

Beautiful piece, the older I get the more I see how useful the phrase, "it never hurts to ask" becomes...we are all too mature and rational (at least most of the time) to assume someone doesn't want or need our help, asking doesn't hurt..if the worst happens and we are rebuked, we can write about it and get some advice on new approaches..

simply beautiful Marcia. what a statement about how much we can be

So often these awful diseases bring isolation. It is such a gift to offer the connection of your friendship to those touched. Sometimes, it takes few times for the offer to be accepted, but is so meaningful. Bless you.

And they are blessed to have you--as their fiend and to tell their sweet story.

friend, not fiend! I really need a new keyboard (and new fingers, too)

The catalyst. That's you, Mary.
No matter what happens.

Yes it continues to be a learning situation for all of us. Thank you for your comments.

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