Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One in a billion

One in a billion As I understand it, and I understand it poorly, we, this, all that is and all that ever will be, is the result of imperfection. Matter is born of heat and light. All matter was born with a twin. For every drop, every ounce of matter, a drop and an ounce of antimatter was created. And since the dawn of time there was sibling rivalry such that matter and antimatter when they touch they destroy each other. If the laws of physics were perfect, if the universe were symmetrical and uniform, then as quick as the universe could give birth to matter it would mourn its death. Nothing would be left, but as it turns out for every billion pieces of antimatter created there is a billion and one pieces of matter created. In other words the universe is imperfect and because of that we exist. Each of us is one in a billion. We are the left over, the aggregate result of the imperfect laws of physics. Bob was imperfect, the son of a patient. Bob was not a strong man or a smart man. By many standards his life had been a failure; a string of jobs begun and lost, a grown man living at home with his mom, he had few friends and little to show for himself. Bob cared for his dying mother, a task which had seemed beyond his capacities. She was older but not small, she suffered from pain and respiratory distress. She needed help with bathing and toileting. Even for those with training and strength, the task of caring for a dying person is a struggle. It seemed Bob didn’t have it in him, that he was too imperfect for the task. Nancy was an RN assigned to the case, and her vision was bigger than most. Where others would have seen only the imperfections, she saw unique strengths, where others would see only the failure, she saw the potential. Nancy saw in Bob’s strength and imperfections the building blocks of a caregiver. With thought and patience, Nancy built Bob up. Bob’s mother died peacefully in her home, with the best of care given by her own son. After the grief and the time, Bob was a different man. He had pride in the care he had given; he found meaning in the love that he showed. From that day on Bob was stronger, more confident. Through Nancy’s help and the care he gave, Bob found his worth even in his imperfection. From then on Bob recognized that he is like the rest of us one in a billion, and new life was born out of death. That too is a miracle. *All names have been changed.

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