On June 7, I had a total knee replacement and I pause now with so much gratitude for family and friends and medical professionals who have carried me very far in just under three weeks. After three days in acute hospital care, I went to Clipper* Harbor Home for ten days rehabilitation care. These beatitudes are in thanks to all who work there.
Blessed are those who pour
juice and coffee and carry trays
and re-heat food
and even spoon-feed
people who feel too miserable to smile …
they shall receive a banquet of thanks.
Blessed are comforters
of those mourning losses —
of speech or mobility,
running or dancing or thinking
putting a cup in the drainer
or taking an independent shower …
every trick in putting on socks
Blessed are those who applaud
one hand squeeze, one word,
one stair step …
they teach others to believe
earth is still there to inherit.
Blessed are the physical therapists
who insist on right positions, who hurt to help,
who ask everyone
for more than is possible …
their own possibilities will be filled.
Blessed are nurses who count pills,
bring pills, remember applesauce,
water or diet ginger ale,
who know even a PT/INR can hurt,
and that it’s harder to wait for pain meds
in the middle of the night …
their mercy brings its own dawn.
Blessed are volunteers and visitors …
they shall see the face of hope.
Blessed are patients … they are children of God.
Blessed are admissions and administrators,
case workers and those who order equipment,
activities staff and kitchen staff,
those who clean or mow or repair …
they make home out of a hospital
and the welcome they give returns to them.
Rejoice in compassions and skills,
for the kindness of an hour, a day, a week,
changes the world life by life.
- I live in the town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, since the 1600’s an ocean going port. Now we have a submarine base, but for all the early years there were the clipper ships. There’s a lot named clipper here — from the high school sports teams to this care facility so generous with kindness and dignity.