It was the first time we had met. As we sat on the end of the bed, in between sobs, she told me of her battle to get her ninety year old husband’s condition diagnosed and her distress at his deterioration; how she struggled to help him into bed because of her painful arthritic knees awaiting imminent surgery. But all her focus was on making things better for him.
“Well, we have to look after both of you,” I responded. “After all, with fifty eight years of marriage together, you come as a unit.”
And we set about making a plan.
That’s often a key part of my job: not just to try and make life more bearable for my patients but also for their families. Their lives are so closely entwined, their well being so affected by each other’s, that it makes sense – support each and then they can better support each other. We need to honour and respect their ties and work with them.
But it’s true for all of us, whatever situation we are in. We live not just as individuals. We’re all part of some group: couple, family, work team, church, neighbourhood, nation, online community. Our ties may be strong or weak, expressed or silent, present or past, but we are bonded to each other nevertheless.
“We’re one but we are not the same
We carry each other, carry each other”
My thoughts are back with the lyrics I quoted in last week’s blog post: one but not the same. How else could we carry each other? Different strengths, different histories, different reactions, different gifts, different stages on the journey. God puts us together with these differences so we can take it in turns to support and learn from each other.
We come as a unit. Let’s not forget that.
Five Minute Friday is an online community of writers who respond to a weekly prompt word and free write in (approximately, for me!) five minutes flat. If you’d like to read more or want to give it a go yourself, here’s the link: http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/11/15/fmf-link-up-one/
(Some of you will recognise the wedding photo from a previous post of mine – it’s of my own parents’ wedding, who reached 55 years of oneness)