For the Birds

Flowers from Paul during hospital

During my hospital stay, the corridors were filled with reds and greens of Christmas decoration and cheer; the nurse’s station decked out with homemade ornaments and shiny tinsel. I took notice of all the decorations the day I was released because I was in no shape to wander the halls or leave my room before hand. This was a shame because one of my favorite spots to stand and linger at that hospital is the cheerful, well-kept aviary, filled with singing birds from around the world. These delicate creatures embody the meaning of living life. Despite their fragility and small statures, they choose to sing and their exquisite voices bring harmony to the otherwise chaotic, concrete world they are nestled in the midst of. In turn, I’ve witnessed people sit and watch the activities of these birds, engrossed and for a while transported to either another, happier time in their lives, or caught up in the wonder of life and God’s creation, on such a minute scale. He truly is a living artist, His palette over flowing with continual renewal of different life forms.

My nurses kept me well nourished. Well, as much nourishment as one can handle with keeping “it in” for less than 5 minutes! One dedicated nurse came in daily and worked through the knots in my hair; we marveled at how much hair came out from simple brushing. Up to that point I was opposed to brush my hair, it was falling out and I had bald spots; I didn’t want to lose more hair. A social worker popped into my room that first day and inquired of my home life since my BMI was 17.4. I guess not everyone realizes what a chronic illness can do to a person’s body weight.

Paul came to visit daily. He always wore a look of deep concern, yet was cheerful and encouraging. Each day he brought a fresh potted plant of orchids or other blooming, vibrant, full of life flowers, sending a clear message that outside of those hospital doors there were memories to be made. He brought his dinners’ to coincide around the time I ate, a welcome respite. He would relay his day, how his website launch was going, and make me laugh by finding humor in odd places. Just by being there a while each day he helped me realize what a dark place I was in mentally. Since I had spent months perfecting the art of shutting other’s out of my life, he showed that I was worth the effort, which I should’ve realized from how much my family poured into me, how they sacrificed, yet depression takes you to unknown depths.

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