Can Somebody Help Me?

We arrived at my mom’s around 4:00pm Tuesday and chilled for awhile. We then went to visit my aunt who is in a nursing home after suffering from a stroke that has severely limited the mobility of the left side of her body. Once again my son displayed his huge heart. Here he was with his dad and a couple of ladies quickly approaching 70 playing dominos in the common area of the fourth floor of a nursing home — winning most of the rounds, I might add. His spirit is so gentle. My aunt specifically asked that he give her a push in her wheel chair before we left (she enjoys the weelies), his demeanor was that of a mature, caring soul that just loves to participate in others escaping the weight of their current baggage even if only in a quick wheel chair ride.

Before we got the game underway, I needed to head back out to the car and check on something. My son came along out with me. On our way out there was another lady sitting in a wheel chair chanting (the only word I can think to describe it) the following, haunting verses; “Can somebody help me? Can somebody help me? I’m not doing too good. Can somebody help me?” We pushed the button for down and waited just a dozen feet from this patient. Patient sounds much more clinical than thinking of her as someone’s grandmother. “Can somebody help me? Can somebody help me? I’m not doing too good. Can somebody help me?” We don’t make eye contact; with her nor with each other. I was about to push the button again, but that would appear uncomfortable. “Can somebody help me? Can somebody help me? I’m not doing too good. Can somebody help me?” The door opens and we both step in. As the door closes… “I guess not.”

The ride down, out to the car and back up the elevator was rather quiet. When we stepped out of the elevator we notice, but do not comment on, the missing patient. She must have been returned to her proper place.

We go about our game and enjoy the conversation with a couple of people who my son realizes has seen so much of life. He laughs at some silly jokes and chimes into the conversations when least expected. He realizes that this generation he is playing dominos with is passing. He is learning the value in listening and absorbing their stories. Now, how do I justify to this dear child that our only logical choice was to simply step into the elevator and be about our business…?