My dear friend has had brain surgery and I finally was able to visit her this week. It broke my heart to see such a strong, vibrant person so helpless and dependent on other people.
We sat and we talked and we joked and sternly told each other that we would not make each other cry. But, of course, this is a very dear intimate friend and this farce could only last so long.
Finally she said to me, Bern, I don’t understand why so many things have happened to us since we were young. I had to say that I honestly didn’t understand either why there have been so many rough events for us. We never expected any of them. We were young and excited and fearless about life and we were sure life would fulfill all our expectations for happiness. What to say?
And then I remembered the homily about the quilt –
I was at a service one time and the minister was speaking about how life an enormous amount of the time just doesn’t make any sense or have any rhyme or reason. He compared life to a quilt. He said when you looked at the underside of a quilt you saw loads of knots and loose strings and none of them formed any kind of pattern. But when you turned the quilt over all those strings and knots formed a pattern that led to beauty.
We discussed the idea that especially that day we were looking at the underside of the quilt and seeing all the knots and just had to trust that some beauty was in the design. And perhaps part of the beauty of the day was the affirmation of our love for each other.
TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A WOMAN WHO I HAVE HAD THE HONOR TO KNOW PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY FOR 14 YEARS PEGGY KULMIE.
Peggy is a CNA at a health care center in Southern New Jersey. I was first introduced to Peggy when my son, Andrew, became a resident at that health care center.
Andrew arrived there in a coma, on oxygen and on a feeding tube. God assigned to Andrew his own personal angel who goes by the name of Peggy. Peggy has tirelessly taken care of Andrew and never tired of moving him toward some form of communication and recovery. Because of her faith in God and in Andrew, today Andrew communicates on a very limited basis with Peggy, sits up in a chair every day, no longer has a tracheostomy, and eats by mouth.
Peggy has worked as a CNA at this health care center for over 25 years. If you ever have visited health care centers in general and dementia floors in particular you can appreciate what a huge commitment to caregiving this is. I have watched Peggy countless times treat the residents with the upmost respect and greatest kindness in the face of their confusion and sometimes nastiness caused by their dementia.
In addition fulfilling her career in such a remarkably positive manner, Peggy raised two beautiful daughters as a single parent. She has tirelessly taken care of her extended family – aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, whenever they have called upon her for assistance. She is an active member of her church and spends time every week and every summer in service to the mission of the church.
PEGGY KULMIE YOU ROCK!
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This was a post that I wrote yesterday for Blogging 101. The lesson was to write a post from a prompt.
This prompt struck me because most feminist (and I count myself in that category) would say that clothes absolutely do not make the woman. But I want to take a different point of view by sharing a story…..
Thirteen years ago my son sustained a massive brain injury. My husband and I received the telephone call that you never want to get. “This is the NYPD. We have your son in the Emergency Room. He is unconscious. Please come immediately.”
My life left its very ordinary road and took a nightmarish path. Part of what helped me go out and face the world everyday after my world tipped on it’s axis, was the act of selecting clothes to wear, applying my makeup and styling my hair. Just doing these three things for a half an hour or so everyday made me feel connected to the rest of the world and helped me forget for a brief time the nightmare I was living.
So for me, I would never underestimate the value of personal style because for a while my clothes didmake this woman at least appear sane.