A Day in the Life of Santa Teresita…Our Neighborhood of Care
She arrived last night from out of the country. I was working late to finish the preparations for our Day of Prayer for the Sick. I called the security guard to walk me from the medical office building to the Manor so I could post the signs for the following morning. While I was in the Nurses Station, I saw a young man pulling two metallic, durable suitcases down the hall. In a few minutes he was back again talking to the charge nurse and giving her a laundry list of medical details. Although I had never seen him before, he seemed very at home in the nursing station.
“She had a massive stroke”, I overheard him saying. I continued posting the signs and waved goodbye to the nurse. The gentleman waved too and I was almost out the door when I remembered that I had forgotten my bag. I went back just in time to hear the young man ask the nurse, “Do you have an open house?” She said “yes” but then turned to me for assistance.
“Yes”, I said, “We do. It will be on Sunday.”
“Do you have anything tomorrow?” he inquired.
“Why, yes, we do” I said. “Tomorrow we have a Day of Prayer for the Sick, with a healing Mass, anointing of the sick, and a luncheon.” “Are you a doctor?” I asked, “I don’t think I have ever met you.”
“Yes, I am” he said. “My mother just arrived from out of the country. My brother is here too, he brought you all oranges.” As he turned back to the nurse to finish giving her his mom’s medical history, his brother’s name clicked in my mind. The two of us had gone to school together.
I walked down the hall in search of our newest resident. I didn’t know which room she was in but I knew if I kept walking I would find her. Then I heard my old friend’s voice down the hall. When I entered the room I greeted my classmate and his mom. Amazingly, her speech had not been affected by the stroke. I could understand her every word. She and both of her sons looked very tired from the long journey and from the trial they were presently experiencing.
As we spoke she shared some of the struggles they had all been facing and she mentioned that she had been unable to receive Holy Communion in the facility where she had been for several weeks, not even on Christmas Day.
“Here you can receive Him every day if you want to,” I said. Then I told her about the special Mass the following day and she made it clear that she definitely wanted to attend. “Can I go like this?” she asked, pointing to her traveling clothes which consisted of a black sweat shirt and pants. “Oh, yes, you can come just as you are,” I said.
The next day as I was assisting the residents during the Mass I didn’t see our newest one.
“She must not have made it,” I thought. “Something must have come up.” I turned my attention to the Mass. At the end as I was standing by the door and shaking the hand of each resident as they were pushed out, I saw her being pushed out in her wheel chair.
“You made it!” I said, excitedly.
“Yes, I did,” she said with a big smile.
She had come just as she was.