Monday, August 01, 2011

I have been evicted...

photo credit
We recently had a very dear patient at the Hospice House. One of those old men you look at and still see the charm of his boyhood, twinkling eyes and affection right there on the surface.
He had been an artist, but as he became more ill he was no longer able to hold his pens and lost one of his great joys. In his last month, he wrote this poem:

I Have been Evicted
   Evicted from My House
The House of Life
The House I Loved so much
For so long and forever will.
Lately it has been going down
  The Shell is breaking
The Structure is cracking
   showing its Age!
I Have been Evicted
  From My House of Life!
The landlord sent me Notice
Friendly but Unmistakable
   Time has been set.
Bring Your House in Order.
   You have to Leave.
Take your Memory with you
   And take Solace
It has been a lovely comfortable House
   But time is Up.
See you all at the new Place
  "The Heavenly Chit Chat"

-JB 5/29/2011

By the time I met him, his house was quite decrepit and plans to move out were well underway. He was still there, though, that boyish twinkle. And so very kind and sweet and always trying to lighten the mood and elicit a laugh. He found comfort in having someone just sit with him and hold his hand. Often he would bring the guest's hand to his lips for a gentle kiss.
From what I was able to learn about him from his friends and his medical records, he had every reason not to be sweet and kind. He had reasons to be bitter, angry, dysfunctional. Instead of choosing to rail against the world that had done him wrong, though, he chose to find beauty and joy in it. Even in the small details of flowers on his table, or birds and squirrels in his yard.
The room he was in will always be his room in my mind, the room where the final eviction occurred, and he set off to "The Heavenly Chit Chat."

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