I ended up spending the afternoon with Mr. G. He is an 87 year old man I deliver meals to once a week. Mr. G is always appreciative and pauses at his front door to chat. His wife died last year and his two sons live out of state. At some point, I started carrying the bag of food into his kitchen and talking to him while he unpacked it. Every now and then, I’d linger and chat with him.
So when he told me he was urinating blood and had an appointment for a cystoscopy, I offered to give him a ride. What was to be a few hours turned out to be more complicated. After the CAT scan, he waited to be called in for the procedure. After he was prepped, they buzzed me in. The doctor said they’d found what was likely a tumor in Mr. G’s bladder. He looked so vulnerable sitting there in his gown with a bag of solution linked to his vein. Later I joined him in recovery and we were informed that, due to the catheter and the fact that he lived alone, Mr. G would be staying overnight at a hospital. I reassured him that I’d go to the hospital the next afternoon and bring him back home. My nice deed turned into a family affair.
Then there is Prem. This Indian man is my personal Deepak Chopra. When we saw each other at a New Year’s Eve gathering, I warned him not to shake my hand, it was cold from driving over without gloves. He gently cupped my hands in his and warmed them. He is so kind. We reconnected over the weekend at Veena’s home. While the other two men went to pick up pizza, he stayed behind with the women. Prem and I talked of retirement, how to schedule our own time, prioritize what is important. What did I do with my time? What is important to you? Please tell me, he insisted. Our conversation seemed intimate even with his wife and Veena drifting to and from the kitchen table. I wished it could have lasted longer.
in sickness and in health,
those who are so different
can connect in kindness