Sr. Wantabee was at the hospital yesterday. She visited bed 51 who was becoming a sort of friend. He asking insightful questions, she trying to give meaningful, honest answers and trying to bring a bit of life and entertainment into the boredom of lying in bed, watching TV by the hour until a visitor comes, or a nurse. Perhaps the reader remembers that bed 51 is paralyzed from the arm pit down due to being thrown into the air by a broken water pipe as he tried to help the city replace a sewar lid. The city is “us” and so he could not sue and now with depleted resources is stripped of everything by his medical condition except his faith, family, friends, and some work. Unfair! But today Sr. Wantabee visited because she heard he was close to leaving once his wheel chair was “mapped.” Not knowing what that meant, she bopped into his room to share his joy that the end was near. “What is mapping,” asked she.
In a burst of anger and frustration he shared that he was in the hospital with an ulcer from his wheel chair seat rubbing his paralyzed rump. He had ordered a new bottom which has to be a special deal, a gel filled seat that conforms to his body, and not just an additional cushion, $900!, but that was 3.5 months ago and it had not come. After two months he checked with the company and they assured him it would be there in 2 weeks. It still had not arrived, he could not afford to throw away $900, and so the old chair that put him in the hospital would be reworked. Sr. Wantabee saw the fear and frustration in his face and heard it in his voice. Lord, not only does my friend live with paralysis but the companies committed to helping are negligent. What is wrong with our world. But she said,
“Perhaps if the President needed a special chair, we could get our system to work!” We both had a good laugh at the thought of how much more impacted a president might be if it was his health that depended on the system. “I’m willing to have the same insurance as the Congress, except since I can’t afford anything now, I doubt I could afford what would be offered!” We both laughed as he said,”Right, who’s going to pay for that?” It’s a good thing this is not the end of the story.
Sr. Wantabee shared of her friend in the Homes who thought heaven, picking daisies, sounded “boring.” She had decided that after death she would just go “pooooof.” We both had a good laugh at going poooof and Sr. Wantabee envisioned a little child blowing bubbles and the bubble bursting. “She get a few years in Purgatory for that,” said he. Then we laughed again, as Sr. Wantabee envisioned the lady looking so surprised to awaken in Purgatory. She shared with Mr. Unfair about her discussion with the lady pondering that if we have fun at a basketball game, maybe there would be basketball games in heaven and that would not be boring. He beamed and said for sure he thought there would be basketball in heaven.
Next, Sr. Wantabee shared about a person she had cared for last year who had gone through three divorces, seven children, and who were drawing straws for who would go “get the old fart” for Thanksgiving. He felt very unloved. Several weeks later he had a stroke and died. “My friend, you do not have health and it is unfair, but you do have a wonderful sense of humor, a loving family that visits and cares about you, and a faith that sustains you. You have what is important!” She prayed with him and blessed him on his way and gave him her favorite line, “I hope I never see you again!” He grimaced back at her and said, “I hope I never see you again too, in the hospital!”