Written by Lauren Plummer O Death, where is thy sting? For folks who celebrate Easter resurrection, it’s a rallying cry on Sunday morning — at once gutsy and disconcerting. For anyone who has experienced the death of a beloved or…
In honor of Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, I want to tell you about a mother I’ve spent a lot of time with in recent months and who has often occupied my thoughts and become dear to me. I met her –– we’ll call her Jennifer, in late January. I answered my phone one afternoon while preparing for an Emergency Winter Shelter and heard a frantic voice on the other end of the line. She had just been released from a psychiatric unit and a nurse had given her my number. She burst into a tearful explanation of her situation –– living in a car, 6 year old son, car towed, severe mental health issues, no money, nowhere to go, no one willing to help. The Women’s Rescue Mission is the only shelter that will accept mothers with children, but it was full, and Jennifer’s combination of paranoia and anxiety left her unable to access those services.
Posted by Lindsey Krinks
Last week, we had four people in the same hospital: a hit and run, a baby born early, and two broken bodies driven to madness by broken minds. I cannot fathom what it would be like to feel my flesh and bones give way to a rush of metal, to give birth to a child without a home, to be haunted by voices no one else hears. I walked the sterile, weaving, windowless hallways feeling heavy, reminding myself I cannot fix people. They said both his legs were broken, that his lungs were not fully formed, that she was severely malnourished, that he would get to keep his feet. Plastic tubes with legal drugs spilled into their veins quieting the voices, numbing the pain. For now, they will all make it, but in their varying states, what do they hunger for? Is it stillness, silence, reprieve, escape? Is it human touch, meaning, answers, grace? When I visited him, he could barely speak. He opened the slits of his eyes long enough to know I was there, that it was me, and reached out for my hand. He took my hand in his, squeezed it, and kissed it. He knew he was not alone, and for the moment, that was enough.