Being in hospital and being immobilized gives time for meditation and contemplation.
Sometimes we tend to get away from the realities of real life and of pain. The first thing I want to say is that living in a small town with a cottage hospital and larger hospitals within easy driving distance is amazing. The interconnection of people–friends of friends, if you will–is just beyond belief in this environment. The man who drove me (Gavin) in ambulance to the hospital is also one of the lifeguards at the state-park pool that we regularly visit for our self-directed aquarobics. My regular physician’s niece plays in the jazz quintet that my neurosurgeon runs. The head of the local physical therapy group has a daughter who plays in band class with our grandson, the reigning saxophone king of southern West Virginia. We can discuss with our doctors their problems, not just our own. One of these doctors is counting his fifth year of being free of cancer. It’s a wonderful, caring relationship. The other day one of the physicians was, as the saying is in these parts, “covered up” with patients. Because of the pain in Gavin’s back, we elected to leave rather than wait. That doctor phoned to see how desperate was Gavin’s need; later he looked in on Gavin’s physical therapist during an actual session, so that he didn’t have to drive way out to the doctor’s office a second time.
These caring relationships exist despite the fact that they all know we are Witches … and they are not; indeed, many if not most of them are fundamentalist Christians.
It gives one pause to think that these very caring people have been brought up in a religion which we tend to denigrate. I believe that because of my experience I will be more gentle in my future criticism.
Of course neighborliness comes into play as well; here we should mention one very busy forensic-psychologist friend of ours who took the trouble twice to drive for over an hour with large pots of soup involving chicken and rice and with fresh vegetables from his garden. Thank you, Randy.
Even this experience of rather drastric measures and of healing has a good side.