The Human Experience
One of my hallmarks of being on vacation is to be completely disconnected from TV, news, Internet, email, and phone. This time, though, the news was so big that it found me.
And I couldn’t ignore it like I usually do on vacation. I further broke tradition and was moved to go online now to donate money to the earthquake relief efforts for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. While I’m here, I also wanted to write about the extreme irony of where I sit as I send my money.
We’re sailing the Caribbean on a mega cruise ship where glitz and glamour abound. Most of us onboard weren’t even aware of the massive destruction unfolding in Haiti and continued partying on and enjoying gourmet cuisine, fancy martinis, and live jazz.
I was particularly struck by the moment I learned of the news later the following day. I had purchased a half-day pass to an elite section of the ship called The Sanctuary, an adults-only “pocket of tranquility” they call it. Here, you get your own reserved comfy chaise lounge, similar to a cloud on wheels. Cleverly named “Serenity Stewards” are on-call to Read more »
But she didn’t want to go anywhere, and I don’t blame her. She resisted, she negotiated, and she bargained…all in an attempt to maintain the life that was so comfortable and familiar to her. After all, isn’t that one’s birthright—to be in the place they call home? The social worker came by one Sunday morning to meet with Grandma Shirley and us to deliver the news: In a few hours, she would be going to a residential hospice setting.
The social worker rang the doorbell, and I patiently waited in the den while “the meeting” took place in the other room. I listened in. Contrary to previous conversations, there was no arguing, no pleading, no bargaining. When the plan was announced, Grandma Shirley, in the most quiet and accepting way, agreed.
I think there was something in her that, at her core, knew and understood the depth of the situation. So with grace, she Read more »