January 26th, 2011

A Blue Comb

Last night, I was helping an older patient get ready to be discharged from the ER. Her husband was a frail guy himself - I'm guessing probably in his late 70's or early 80's and he proudly wore a "Vietnam Veteran" ball-cap. His wife seemed in a constant state of confusion as she stood and sat down repeatedly and kept asking the same questions over and over again. It was obvious he was bit frustrated with her but the thing that I loved was that in the middle of all this, he took a blue comb out of her purse and began to gently and slowly comb her hospital bed-hair.

I'm not sure she completely understood what was happening but soon became calm and stood there patiently as he combed through her thin gray hair.

It made think about the end of life and even though he was frustrated that he really was so fortunate to be with her in such a way.

* * *
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
~ From: "A Blessing", James Wright