Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

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Dohle-Hospital-waiting-webEmergency rooms are places of waiting,
of hurrying to get there and then just sitting,
often in a crowded lobby,
witnessing the human drama of our fragility
played out in living color;
pain, worry, suffering lived out in full view,
though most so preoccupied with their own drama
it can mostly be fazed out.

I suppose I am good at it now,
bringing my reading materials,
prayer beads,
and yes something to write in if I desire,
sometimes the wait flows by in rapid sequence,
at others
it seems like an eternity.

I sit with the one I am with,
getting them water,
if allowed,
or perhaps a snack
if allowed,
and of course needs of nature need attending to.

Sometimes they come home with me,
more often than not,
admitted,
a few times
death is the outcome,
when all that can be done is to hold their hand,
pray with them,
or perhaps just for them if they are not conscious,
until they are called.

The visits blur,
so many,
different people yet all remembered,
for there is a bound formed between caregiver
and the one cared for.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO

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