Heaven's Waiting Room
After having the experience of seeing my Father have a heart attack and stroke, surgery, angioplasty, a couple of stints, and now transferred to a rehab center because he still can't walk on his own, it has changed not only him, but also me.
I have had my share of heart problems due to a birth defect, which includes 9 cardiac surgical procedures, 5 implants, substantial internal wiring and cables, screws in my heart, and being 100% electronically dependent for life with a pacer, defibrillator, and cardio resync implant, my Dad's experience ignited my anxiety and brought back some terribly painful hospital ICU memories. But this is nothing compared to witnessing the people sharing the same facilities as my Dad.
The rehab center where he is staying is also an assisted living center and nursing home. As I wander the halls and make my trek to his section, every door that I pass ... I can feel the pain, suffering, and misery of other people. For most, this is heaven's waiting room. The last frontier of their earthly sojourn. How sad it this? To live out your last days in misery, pain, and anguish?
There are people who are suffering mentally, physically, emotionally, and all of the above. One elderly woman screaming for her mommy to come and save her. To get her "out of here." A man sits alone in a chair in the hallway staring into nothingness talking to someone that only he can see. As I pass another room I hear "hey you." An elderly lady sitting on the edge of her bed just trying to get my attention. As I pass by some rooms I can only see the TV's on the wall. For some, clicking the changer or not even caring to is their only day to day existence.
The Nurses and Caregivers are exposed to this environment day in and day out and yet, they still smile and say hello. I suppose after a while, they come to the acceptance that this is how the end of life cycle works for most in their sunset time. They do their best to comfort and care for these folks but it must take a toll on them. My PTSD kicks in before I even walk in the building for just a visit. They work there daily. And most times in 12-hour shifts.
There is so much that runs through my mind in the short 1/2 mile drive home from there, it's amazing. thoughts are exploding. What have I not done yet? Where haven't I gone? What haven't I seen and experienced? When will I do these things ... will I ever be able to? Each moment that passes is another marble coming out my my jar. How many marbles are left? And then, the conclusion that such is life. I am not this body, and it is merely a vessel for my Soul to experience life in it's lowest form of vibrational energy (matter). We enter this experience of life with a traumatic journey thru the birth canal, and more than likely ... we will leave with a traumatic journey through a tunnel of a different kind, on our way back home from where we came.
The most important lesson to learn is that there is only now. Now is the time to love, to live, to have compassion and care for all living creatures and for the environment in which we all share. It's the same dirt, the same air, the same water, no matter where you live or what you believe. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or anything else ... we are all built the same and come from the same factory. We are in the company of one ... the single living organism that is the universe. We must make the most out of every moment. With any luck, when it's time to go, we'll leave quickly and peacefully. But for most, some form of executioner will steal our life from us through disease, or unexpected event.
In the NT Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying: "The Kingdom is love, peace, and joy." I believe this to be Truth. The Kingdom is a state of mind and being. Heaven and hell are choices we make consciously and unconsciously. Sometimes our environment plays a role, but in a perfect world ... we would all do the right thing, and most suffering would end. If we spent our military budget on health care and disease research, imagine how much better global life would be for everyone.
Love your neighbor, friends, family, and even strangers. They are you and we are them. When harmony is attained, the music is beautiful. It's up to us to create a beautiful world. We are the HU-mans. This literally means GOD/man. We have the power of the universe/God within us to bring about order from chaos. To bring light from darkness. To bring love from abuse. The future unfolds with each and every moment and each and every thought and action. Be careful with your words and your actions ... they will create the world that we ALL share.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.