My Heart is Heavy

Because my friend, Reha is dying.

Those of you who follow my blog know my mother is in a skilled nursing center and I visit her two or three days a week. Usually, when I visit my mother, I take her something like fresh strawberries, when they are in season, or cookies, candy etc. Just any little thing I see that I think she might like as a little surprise. Whatever I take for my mom, I also take the same thing for mom’s roommate, Reha. Reha loves fresh strawberries and will eat the whole container at once whenever I give them to her. Reha calles me “my love” Her face will light up when I walk into the room and she will say “hi, my love” and always wants to hear all about what I’m “up to these days”… I’ve sat for hours talking to Reha and mom in their room over the past three years and I’ve come to call Reha my friend, something very special to me and something I do not take for granted.

Reha always listens to CNN on the TV and will give comments about what all is going on in the world outside of her little world.  She always asks me to open the blinds in the room and will sit and look out over the garden just outside her window when I push my mom up to the activity room for bingo, arts/crafts, or to church services. I always invite Reha to come along with us but she just smiles and says “you run along my love and visit with your mom, I’ll be just fine right here looking at all the beautiful flowers that are there for me today”.

Reha has a sister who comes to visit her once in a while, but other than that, no one, except me , or my mom’s other visitors pay any attention to Reha. Reha has the biggest, brightest, smile  and the light in her eyes light up the room that she seldom ever leaves. She takes her meals in her room because she doesn’t like to go to the dinning room. I never asked her why and she never said. Reha has one leg amputated and she has an artificial leg that she sometimes wears to help her move about the room in her wheelchair. She never complains and is always very appreciative for everything and anything anyone does for her.

Reha has not been feeling well for the past couple weeks although I’ve not heard her complain even once. Over the weekend her condition became much worse and Monday when I saw her she was so weak she couldn’t get out of bed so mom and I tried to help her eat from her tray as she lay in her bed. Then, today, when I walked in the room mom was already in the activity room so I went over to Reha and was so sad to see how pale, and weak she is now. She couldn’t speak so I took her hand and told her it was “my love”, and she squeezed my hand and tried to focus her eyes to mine and as I looked into her beautiful, soft, eyes I recognized that empty look of someone who is actively dying.  So I did the only thing left to do when someone you care about is passing, I held her hand and said a prayer to the Lord saying if it’s Reha’s time to go, and if it be his will, to please help Reha to pass quickly and to help her to not suffer. While I was sitting with Reha and praying for her, the care center activity went on as usual. Not that no one cares, but Reha is one among many that live out their last days in a care center, without family or friend,s and the staff while good and caring people, have other patients to tend to…Life at any stage goes on…

I sat with Reha for as long as I could today. I am going to go back to see about her tomorrow and all weekend if she hangs on that long. Why, some might ask? Because, I call Reha my friend, something very special to me and something I do not take for granted.

Please keep my friend Reha in your thoughts.

Thanks

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellen Kaufman
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 22:52:34

    That is so sad Cindy. Thanks for letting me know about Reha. I will pray for her. I don’t know how anyone could leave their family there without coming to visit, if she has family that can come.
    That is so nice of you to be so generous and caring for her.

    Reply

  2. closetomybreakingpoint
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 23:16:33

    You are such a good person and I’m sorry your friend is dying. Prayers coming Reha’s way 🙂

    Reply

  3. Lou
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 02:56:17

    I am so sorry. I will send energy to her for a peaceful passing.

    Reply

  4. Megs
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 18:53:43

    My thoughts & prayers are with you & Reha. Love you MORE!!! Xo

    Reply

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