God sent me another one of his timely, extraordinary gifts. When I need it most, he always finds finds a way of intervening. Sometimes as subtle as a phone call from a loved one, telling me to not do the very thing I had been wanting to, or sometimes as blatant as the screen on my phone turning white for hours when I was contemplating reaching out to a toxic person in my life.
This gift was a patient.
I will call him Jeremiah. An extremely brilliant and authentic young man came under my care after trying to commit suicide. He laid with a plastic tube protruding from his neck allowing him to breathe, and his skull was misshapen to resemble a sloping bowl from the injury. His shining spirit had remained intact, however. As I watched over him, he played the song, “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, as his own soundtrack to himself. When his detached girlfriend came to visit, he played her “I Put A Spell on You” and “The Best is Yet to Come”. As we talked, he used his own term, ‘cocoa’, which I came to understand was analogous to ‘sweet’. For over an hour, I read his math book to him, including lines of complex equations and derivations, and we solved math puzzles together on his white board. I wheeled him outside to sit by the water fountain where he repeatedly pushed the button to listen to a woman speak of her husband with brain cancer, and her donations to build the memorial. He wrote to me, ‘I see trees of green, red roses too.’ Then, after pausing to smile to himself, he wrote, ‘I find serenity in her voice. I think she reached enlightenment.’ I agreed.
After spending the day with Jeremiah, I noticed the haze had been lifted. I saw clarity once again. The pain n my chest was gone, and I realized: Life is too damn short and sweet to waste a single day shuffling your feet through it, grieving about the past or fearing the future. I realized that I had the world at my feet, and all I wanted to do was roll up my pants and run splashing through it.
On second thought, the pants can handle the water.