That has been a genral theme in the Hospital, even with the blur of days immediately after the surgery, when I knew really knew nothing I was thankful. I lived through the surgery, I was breathing and doing something akin to eating. My mom was here and was being taken are of the two people who I consider as brothers and my unknown relationship stepped up to the plate and had adopted my mom, so now she is family at the very least.
The people I am in community with, without them, I would not have survived or made most of the right choice when it came to the entire hospital thing and of cource their visits and prayers and calls and just plain support.
Things that I was thankful for that may surprise you - the hospital food - it was flavorful and tho not a kobe burger, what would I expect, kept me very happy. The nurses and staff have been very helpful and I am sure have kept me living many times.
So I am thankful, but there are very many struggles just staying alive, keeping my breath straight and swallowing under control. Sometimes now it is a atruggle to stay awake- I get so very tired.
I see all the petty struggles in the hospital, no different than the real world and I see the people rise above them, the people who cause them and people just caught inside of them.
Frank was always a very passionate person, full of energy and dynamics. The Chapel at St Luke's was the only building that was in okay shape and it was being rented in the evenings to a local Hatian chuch and the building attached had one clean office which housed the eposcople churches hatian ministry with one priest.
There was a karate class they used the "gym", but the floorboards were all warped. And small senior ministry, which I do not remember well next to the kitchen..
Most of the rest of the building was used as a crash pad for homelesss and a shooting gallery by drug users..In other words , a mess.
Frank was working at Greenwich hospital where we got to meet David and his father(a Lutheran pastor).
I have always had it in me to want to help others, if I could, but there are real limitations when you are alone and real dangers as well and truth be told, I would try to help people "my" way and that really isn't helping them, it is only giving something I think they want or that I am able to give them and that really is only me doing something to make me feel good whether it helps the other person or not.
An example is if some one asks for money on the street, it very often to collect enough for booze or cigareetes, so I would not have give it. I as with Franklin's father when someone approached asking for money to eat. He got his wallet and told me to go buy the guy a sandwich fron the nearby deli. The guy waited for me to learn. I learned some small thing that day, and my arrogance was kicked in the ass cause I would not have doneanything about it and would have missed a real opppurtunity to help someone.
I think that is true problem people growing up middle or upper middle class, we think it what we do that helps without ever really knowing the problem.
Comfort, I do like, sometimes to much.
The idea of St Luke's was great - a short term shelter which would have nine rooms, an emergency shelter which the red cross would use, the place had a summer camp(with a bad reputation) and we would try that.
Some form of outreach for the neighbor hood. That sounded okay.
Of course there were 10 of us ? and we all worked full time and most of us had a lot to learn about giving.
Next thing i remember is I was working with Scott (Frank's son) shoveling out derbies and junk with other people: the german (from Houston) Bob and Walter (from the first episcopal encounter in the area), Franklin, and Marie, Penny and Walter's wife Corey. This was hard work and dirty work and it was not easy and not fun and you knew eventually this would help people, but not yet. I do not remember any of the clergy helping.
I notice this headache stops me in mid motion and I drop letters ( which just got corrected in this last couple of paragraphs).