Friday, September 4, 2009

her name was dorothy...

i can't get the lady in the hallway
(several posts down from here) off my mind.
in fact.....thinking of her this morning
made me think of someone else.

her name was dorothy. she always wore red
or shades of red. i thought that was so cool.
she was thin, mobile...she didn't need a walker
or cane...she looked like she was mean,
but she wasn't. and she was ohhh...
how do you say 'on another planet??'

she thought everyone was out to get her.
but she trusted me. and she would warn me about
the others.

i never saw her cause any trouble. she just
said a lot of weird things. but if you played
the game, it was easy to be with her, and
she was fine.

i totally loved her. in fact, she was one of
my favorite patients. i could launch right into
whatever she was talkin' about. i didn't need
reality to have a conversation. in fact, i did
better without it.

it was actually a paying job i had. i was about
20 years old. and my job really was to play with
the patients. it was a job written for me.

but the staff seemed to resent me.
they were harsh, certainly not welcoming.
so i hung with the patients and didn't take long
to fall in love with a lot of them.

dorothy was high on my list.

one day, i stopped by her room to talk to her.
she wouldn't look at me. she wouldn't talk to
me. i didn't understand and was really worried.

at lunch, i went into the lounge and sat with
the staff. with real concern and sincerity, i
asked a table of nurses what was wrong with
dorothy. was she okay?

one of the nurses turned to me with such scorn.
like i was an idiot. and told me she was drugged.
that she was too much to deal with, so they
drugged her.

the way she told me was like i was a stupid
little child.

i remember feeling like i got slammed onto
the sidewalk.

they drugged her???
so they didn't have to bother with her???

i was stunned.

i sat there quietly for a few moments then
went outside. i was totally numb.

i quit the next day.

i walked and thought of her this morning.
my eyes filled with tears.

so many parts of that story sucked.
and i realized something died in me at that

and i think of dorothy....and all the dorothy's
out there....

and the lady in the hallway.....

and the people who have closed their hearts to

who's the more tragic???

the tears run down my face and i think....
it's so lame all i can do is hold them in my

and then i think.....
maybe i can open my heart more in honor of them.

all of them.
even that nurse that scorned me that day....

maybe that's what i can do......
cause dorothy is worth it.

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