Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Scene 07-Mother's Arrival at the Hospital

**************Scene 07 - Mother’s Arrival at the Hospital********************************

My mother remembers arriving at the hospital,

Moving through the maze of corridors - dead ends,
Trying to figure out where the put my son-

Seeing my son’s body,
Through observation glass.
Lying on a table,
tied down with wires and tubes.

Silent, Still.

And I said, Lethan, you will live.
Hear me!
You will live.

And I closed my eyes, and began to pray.

I heard a voice - behind me.

There was a doctor -
tall, long white robe, full white beard, kind face and -
and these eyes that, Knew things.

Are you alright, mam?

Me?  oh, I’m fine -
well, my son was in a, car accident
and I was Praying because -

Well, I am a clinical psychologist, and I have read several Blind studies that have shown the healing effects of prayer…

Mam, you don’t need to be blind to pray.


I imagine my arrival at the hospital like a scene from the medical drama ER with George Clooney - camera fastened to a gurney as it races down the hall - busting doors open like the Sheriff in an Old West Saloon - beautiful doctors pausing just long enough to deliver pertinent information before darting off in a dozen directions.

My mother wasn’t present for this dramatic entrance, but I imagine her trying to retrace the path through a labyrinth of white, sterilized corridors - adrenaline ignited by anxiety.

And - stop - in front of the observation window.

  She prays.

And I imagine the doctor appearing behind her - his face cast in the soft light from an overhead lamp - has a “folksy” wisdom that fills his eyes and dribbles down his long, white beard - if you remember the TV program “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”, I imagine this doctor to be the specialist from the next town over, come by to provide assistance.

What I find interesting about this moment is my mother’s reaction.

She has never been shy about her Christian faith, nor does she proselytize - and she is also a respected, professional psychologist and family therapist.  These are two spheres of her personal identity that, while they in no way directly conflict, are kept in clearly separated sides of her mind - professional / personal - one part focused on logical, tangible results while the other is involved with the ineffable comfort and completeness that accompanies her religion. 

And here - in a moment of great fear and uncertainty - surrounded by professionals focused on producing the tangible result of keeping her son alive - she reaches out and seeks spiritual assistance through prayer.  This seems like a reasonable choice - yet when approached by a fellow professional, she takes a step back and seeks to defend her use of prayer - her personal persona being presented in a professional location.

Here is a moment when her worlds inexorably collide - her professional, scientific mind attempts to use an interpretation of a clinical study to justify her natural, impulsive reaction that is driven by need and fear and hope and love and expressed through prayer - this collision between the spiritual and instinctual creates confusion. 

And the doctor responds with a simple affirmation - “You don’t need to be blind to pray.”  Her fellow professional acknowledges that there are times when there exists a need to rely on and put trust in something greater than science.

In the performance, this moment is just a moment - and we quickly move on - acknowledgement, support, and a shared hope between strangers that leaves a pleasant aftertaste in the mind.  When looking at this moment, it is easy to view it through the lens of religiosity - the prayer, the doctor as the archetypical angel - and as I arranged these stories, I saw this moment shimmering in such a light - but upon reflection, I see that decorating the scene with such grandiosity detracts from the beautiful simplicity of a human interaction. 

I have spent so much time (paradoxically?) deconstructing the simplicity of this moment because it highlights the confusing manner in which, during the experience of recovery, personas will collide and the barrier between one’s social worlds becomes blurred.  Recovery is never a part of life - once the recovery process begins, it is Life for the caregivers as well as the survivor.  This can be understandably aggravating and will assuredly create a “role confusion” in some situations - “As the caregiver, do I portray ‘the Professional’, ‘the Loving Parent’, or ‘the Friend-in-Need’ right now?”

And this is where I, as a writer, become stuck.  I wish I could offer clear advice - I want to conclude this essay with a step-by-step, “How To” manual explaining the ways one can synthesize these personas - I want to answer this confusion, but reality is not so generous that it supplies every question with an answer.

In the moment above, when the doctor cannot provide my mother with an answer, he acknowledges that her need for prayer exists.  This article seeks to acknowledge that this role confusion exists.

This post first appeared on Who Am I Now? Reflections On Recovery, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Scene 07-Mother's Arrival at the Hospital


Subscribe to Who Am I Now? Reflections On Recovery

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription