Before meeting my new patient, I spotted her Ford Mustang. The well-kept red convertible was parked on the street, by her brother’s driveway.
The license plate frame declared: Fly Away!
While unsure it was her car on that first visit, the frame’s message was a solid clue. Based on the medical chart notes, she was a flight attendant in her early forties.
This was years ago when I worked as a hospice chaplain. Most of our patients lived in their homes. I recollect visiting her a half-dozen times. From our first awkward handshake to the final moment I sat beside her hospital bed in her brother’s living room, our patient-chaplain relationship had grown stronger. She learned to trust me. I certainly learned from her as she continued living and loving while cancer relentlessly destroyed her body. Even at my last visit, her short gray-blonde hair was stylish. Her make-up, aided by her sister-in-law, was impeccable.
She never spoke one word to me.
Though the cancer spread across her once-athletic body, it had started in her throat. Long before entering hospice, she’d the lost the ability to speak. Read More →by