Sunday, December 1, 2013

Oh, Mercy!

I realized this morning that it's World AIDS Day.  Made me think of a fella I had the pleasure of knowing while volunteering at a local AIDS hospice in the early 90s.  His name was George, he was from a small Texas town, he was beyond polite, he was some kind of seriously funny, and he was dying.  I remember sitting with him and visiting about how life used to be and how life currently was.  He had the sweetest southern drawl and knew better how to say, "Oh, mercy!" than anyone I'd ever or since met.

One morning I showed up at the hospice and I could tell before going in that a transition was in process.  I went to George's room and gazed upon his skeletal form, barely emitting a rattle of a breath.  I stayed with him till he left this life and for quite some time after.  Next to the birth of my own two children, it was likely one of the most beautiful and profound events of my life.

And I say on this day, as I do pretty much all of my other days, "Oh, mercy!"  Here's to George and the ability and willingness to see the amazing, the whimsical, the fun, and the humor in the things that life puts in our path.

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