Bob’s Aunts lived in New York City. The last time I saw Aunt Ra alive she was in the hospital suffering from cancer. I wrote this as we were leaving New York to return home to Cincinnati.
Profound Sense © 2000 Molly Lin Dutina How can I leave you here in your suffering? Who will escort you when employees are careless about their duties and don’t even want to be at work today? Will someone wrap you in tenderness when the struggle seems overwhelming? Can an advocate arise in the technical discussion of your treatment with you too weak to speak transported in agony beyond concern for choices all effort towards enduring present life demands? As I hold your hand and smooth your temple in the radiology holding area I am reminded that as I comfort you, I comfort Jesus. Your gaunt features remind me of the asceticism of St. Francis. One niece says you resemble a female Buddhist monk. As I turn from you not wanting to burden you with my weeping I marvel at the ability I am given to walk. Sobs consume me because I cannot help you more. How can I get in a car put hundreds of miles between us and be unaffected by your struggle? I cannot. So I am reduced to a profound sense of helplessness. Others’ eyes avert from my weeping countenance. I cannot stop the tears and I do not try. The ingratitude of those not helpless assaults my brain and senses. “Christ above you, Christ within you, Christ beneath you. Christ on your right, Christ on your left Christ in every eye that sees you Christ in every voice that speaks to you.” I marvel even as I weep that I can peel and eat an orange blow my nose drink a Coke think of you -all virtually unaided- except for the life force that keeps me from disease, suffering, death. I use every tissue in my possession. I mop my face with napkins. Swollen eyes, red, bulbous nose so what? In the hospital corridors they stare. The brisk breeze at the bus stop startles me – I am alive. On the bus they wonder why I cry and sniff St. Patrick’s Hymn rolls through my soul “Christ with you, Christ before you, Christ behind you. I arise today through a mighty strength The invocation of the Trinity Through belief in the Threeness Through confession of the oneness Towards the Creator.” And I commend you into those Holy Hands and keeping.
Be certain to listen to at least the second minute of the music!
One thought on “Aunt Ra”
A most difficult time…