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Friday, May 27, 2011

Helpless Helper

It's my job to help people; to heal people, the sick people. It's what I signed up for, what I'm designed be strong for the weak and fight for the defenseless. Now in this moment, when all I want is to fulfill what I am and who I am, I find my hands tied. A month ago I was starting IVs and fighting tirelessly for other people's grandparents because I was the one wearing the scrubs. I was the one with the answers and the control. Now I'm wearing a gray sweater that I can't stop pulling at and blue jeans that don't keep me warm in the chilly hospital room. And this time it's my grandma laying there in the blue gown and white sheets... and I can't do anything about it. A powerless bystander, a helpless helper. Deathcab's "what sarah said" plays in a loop as I try to think of something to say to my family. How did those machines that I am so familiar with become so ominous? How come the words that used to come so easily to strangers now fail me with my loved ones? I want to shake the nurses and scream, "I'm one of you!!! Let me see the charts!!" But I know that won't do any good, save getting me kicked out. I look at her, so still and quiet but for some reason, looking younger and more lovely than I have ever seen before and I can think of a million things to say to her: "You can't leave... we need you to hold this entire family together. You're the linchpin, you're the cornerstone that brings us together. We can't make it without you and I can't picture life without you. Your fried chicken, your sassy remarks, your quiet strength and your spunk... can't leave us." But in the jumble of awkwardness and uncomfortable silences, it comes out as, "How are you feeling, Grandma?"

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