We sat and talked over coffee and dessert,
Glen a very good friend,
A loving and caring man,
To a fault,
As many caregivers are.
The gift and the compulsion that comes with it,
An uneasy dance,
In constant play,
Working for and against him
In his desire to care for others.
He is from New Orleans,
So he often talks about Katrina,
His experience in the hospital there
Trapped with many others,
Generators no longer working,
Patients dying from lack of equipment for their care,
The cold dampness,
Stairwells slippery and dangerous,
Patients trapped nowhere to go.
Families there also with children,
A few days like a lifetime.
Also the aftermath,
A prolonging of the pain and suffering.
Few if any coming in.
Work load increasing
Perhaps burning out,
Concern for his health
The constant stress;
Phone going off at all hours,
Never enough sleep.
Such is the life of a heart specialist.
Knowing he is needed,
Leaving not really an option at this time,
Though perhaps it is coming that awful choice,
Perhaps to save his own life
Being worn down by it all.
Yet it is his life,
“I was born to be a healer”
His refrain that I often hear,
A heart young in a body getting older,
He would care for the whole world if he could,
But he can’t,
One day he will have to stop,
Perhaps sooner than he wants.
I am honored to have him as a friend,
A gift unexpected,
It can’t be planned or manipulated into happening
It just takes root and grows,
Suddenly friendship is there.
I am grateful.