Focus On My True Purpose In Life

As I pushed the wheel chair down the corridor, he stretched his left hand over his shoulder and placed it on top of my right hand. We had been introduced earlier that same morning. It was just past 1:00pm after the noon meal when I strolled him back to his room, the one which he shared with his wife of forty some odd years.

Upon the arrival of our destination, he looked at me and took hold of my right forearm with both of his hands. He proceeded to thank me for being so kind, and then he kissed the back of my hand. In doing so, the tremors took over and he slightly shook uncontrollably. I helped him transfer from the wheel chair to his bed, as now it was time for rest.

I couldn’t help myself, I walked out of his room and tears began to well up in my eyes. Never in my life have I felt so alone with myself, yet all in the same breath, so needed by someone who didn’t know me from Adam.

Weeks past, and the more familiar I became with Archie, the more my heart opened up to him in his hours of need. He never seemed to remember my real name, although I appeared to him to be someone he admired throughout some period of his life. He’d press his call button several times during the midnight hours. I’d check on him, knowing each time I entered the room would be the same as the last. Archie would take hold of my right arm with his shaky grasp. He’d tell me that I was his sweetheart, and he would do anything for me that he could to make me happy. I’d sit with him for as long as I was able, then I’d tell him I’d be back momentarily to check on him.

“How long before you come back?” he’d say.

“I’ll be back in about a half hour, you close your eyes and try to get some rest.”

“Do you promise you’ll be back?”

“Yes, I promise, I’ll be back, now you sleep like a baby, goodnight sweety.”

There was something about Archie that gave me a feeling of peace. Even though he didn’t have a clue who I was, he seemed to need me, and I felt comfort in attending to his emotional needs. In a sense, he too, was attending to mine.

Throughout my life, I’ve isolated myself from so many people because of my affair with an eating disorder. Now I’ve come to a final crossroad that is taking my life down a different path. I am trying so pitifully hard to figure out a daily routine to keep me on the straight and narrow. I’m losing weight but I’m still gaining ground in recovery. I know this, because I know in my mind that my thoughts are changing. In the past when I’ve experienced this much depression, I’ve come completely unglued in both starving myself, and using bulimic behaviors. Even though it’s been difficult for me to eat, I’m still pushing myself to feed myself. I count that as progress.

In many ways, I feel just like Archie. I’m afraid, I’m lonesome, and I don’t know what is to come of my future. Having my office set up has been a blessing in disguise. I can no longer have the excuse to delay my time set aside for writing. I’ve procrastinated finishing my book; I’ve procrastinated writing down my thoughts, and I’ve suffered the consequences because of it. Writing is a wonderful release for me. It puts things in perspective and I can clearly see where I lack confidence and what I have to work on in the moment. At this point, I know my lonesome heart is in need of nourishment. I’ve been looking in the wrong places, and finding more sadness with every step I take.

Last night I sat at Archies’ side. As he rested on the recliner, he held onto my hand and continued to tell me how much he cared for me. As his hands trembled, he reached up to caress my face.

“Oh please sweetheart, sing to me.” He said.

I began to sing softly into his ear, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

I would sing a line, and Archie would sing back the same words. When we finished with the verse, he begged me to sing to him again…then he cried as he held tightly onto both my hands. He needed me, and I needed him. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That was beautiful Lori. It was so very real. It was full of simple and desperately needed kindness. You’re making a difference in someone’s life. Every day. I hope those moments you are making someone else’s life better, are helping you as well.

    • Thank you, you inspired me to write this. And I might add, I feel better.

      • Wow, that makes me feel wonderful! I’m glad you wrote it, but happier that you feel better. It was truly a beautiful story.


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