“I’m going to lunch. You want me to get you something?” asks my assistant Dani. A few moments of silence sits in the air as Dani waits for my reply. “What did you say – lunch, is it that time already?” I reply faking a happy distracted mood. Dani seems to be worried for me now and not sure what to say. “What’s the matter? You have been so distracted all day long.”
“Oh. nothing, I just got off the phone with Mercy and I got some sad news.” Again a few seconds of silence as I stare at my computer screen and ponder what Mercy just said. The words “Kirk’s daughters are busy right now and could not talk to me. But they gave me their OK to put him in Hospice.” Wow! This left me feeling totally empty. How can they be so unconcerned.
I suddenly realize that Dani is waiting for me to continue. “Nothing really!” I reply, forcing an even more insecure smile. She stares me down to tell her the truth “It’s just that Mercy had to take Kirk to the hospital & she just gave me some bad news.” Dani pulls up a chair and immediately sits down, almost as if to say – Tell me more…
“Mercy just had to put Kirk in Hospice.” Dani & I are just sitting there staring at each other – not sure what to say. I’m sitting there silently thinking, was it Kirk that I was waiting for at the gates of heaven?
“Oh my God! Hospice? Isn’t Kirk that older gentleman that Mercy takes care of?” Dani adds. Before I could reply she continues. “Why is Mercy the one registering him into Hospice? Isn’t his family supposed to be there to do it?” This question hit me hard. Kirk has no one – here. He finds himself all alone & the only person to love & care for him is Mercy.
It hit home for me & my mind immediately flashes to a future of where my life is heading. I am so wrapped up in my worries. So wrapped up in myself & circumstances that I leave people aside. Paying the bills and making my business work can’t be the only things I devote my time to if I want my family to be there for me. I saw myself – in my future – as Kirk is right now!
I see myself laying in a hospital bed. I’m a frail old man, laying there with all kinds of wires poking into my body, and thick tubes hanging out of my nose. There are loads of machines that seem to be monitoring all my vital signs. Nurses are urgently dashing in and out of the room. There is plenty of activity going on as people are taking care of me. I am seeing this as I’m floating over my bed looking down at myself. I see one nurse taking my pulse while another nurse is preparing the heart defibrillator. Everything is beeping like crazy! The monitor alarms going off and the life line on the screen all of a sudden goes… flat!
I see the doctor leaning over me, trying to listen for my breath. “That’s OK nurse. We’re not going to need that now.” He says and just pauses for a second, As if to make sure that this is his final decision.
Then everything goes silent! No beeping, no alarms going off. Nothing!
I can’t hear a sound and things seem to be in slow motion and foggy now. I look around the room and all I see is sterile white walls and the coldness of all the metallic equipment. Not one bouquet of flower to add color to my world, nor there to soften the scent in the air. Not one card or picture to breakup the sterile white-ness of my space.
And worse of all – not one person crying for me as my soul drifts out of my body. Wher is Mercy and Marc? Have I chased them away?
What have I done with my life?
As I drift away all there is, is a soft song that fills the air. I had the radio tuned to a classic rock station before all this started. And up until now I did not even hear that radio.
the music just fills my soul. The serenity of the moment and the peace in nothingness fills me. The only thing I can focus on is the lyrics of this song playing:
Isn’t life strange
A turn of the page
A book without light
Unless with love we write
To throw it away
To lose just a day
The quicksand of time
You know it makes me want to cry cry, cry.
Wish I could be in your heart
To be one with your love
Wish I could be in your eyes
Looking back – there you were…
– Moody Blues (Isn’t Life Strange)
As I ascend past the ceiling of my room, the sounds of the room start to fade away. The lyrics, now just a distant memory, makes me wonder – if some of those, that I’ve left behind long ago, who shared my happiest moments – ever think about me. I start to cry and weep from all the loneliness I’ve created around me, as I drift away for all eternity.
“What’s the matter?” Dani questions, shocking me back to the present moment. “Why are you crying?” Dani reaches over and hands me a tissue to dry my tears. As my mind settles back to my present day reality, I get frightened by that future. I need to do something so that my future does not look like that! As I land back into my body, I feel compelled to answer Dani. “No, Kirk’s daughters live in California and in New Jersey. They are busy and cannot be here to put him in Hospice. We are his family here. He is my father-in-law; my mother; my cousin. He is all that I know – all that I’ve lost – all that I am. I need to care for him now.”