Reading Too Much Into Things

I went to the hospital yesterday to visit my friend, Regina. I rode the elevator up to the 8th floor and walked towards her room. When I got to the door, I noticed that it was open – but the lights were out. Then I saw two men with their heads bowed. The man facing me was Regina’s brother, Larry. The other man (whose back was to me) was apparently a priest/minister/reverend/rabbi/religious person conducting a prayer.

From the doorway, I couldn’t hear what was going on – but the setting was quite somber so I passed the room and decided to look out the window for a spell. A few minutes later I returned to Regina’s room only to hear the holy man reciting more prayers. At this point, I began getting nervous. For one thing – Regina has never been a particularly religious person. And in the 9 months that she has been fighting breast cancer and I’d been visiting her at hospitals, home and rehab centers, not once did I witness a holy man in her presence, prayers taking place, or the lights turned off during the day.

Anyway, for the next 15-20 minutes or so, I would pace from her doorway to the end of the hall where I could look out over the Charles River and Boston skyline. Normally, such views distract me (the urbanist in me)…but yesterday I could only focus on the negative things running through my head: that the holy man was either telling her to “let go” or that she had already passed away and they were praying. Needless to say, my palms were sweaty and my heart was racing.

Finally, as I was stanging by her doorway once again, I heard Larry and the holy man say “Amen”. The priestly fellow got up, put on his coat, shook Larry’s hand and left the room. Larry saw me at the door and waved me in. Nervously, I entered the room and saw Regina turn her head towards me (YAY!).

As I sat next her she softly said: “Oh my God, he was so long-winded. He came to pray for me and it took over a half hour.” Then she, Larry and I laughed. It was such a relief.



  1. Comment by Will on February 28, 2005 11:23 am

    Is there any turn for the better in her condition, Karl?

  2. Comment by Erica on February 28, 2005 5:12 pm

    Thanks so much for letting me know about the lunchtime visit today. It meant a lot to see her again.

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