Sunday, January 30, 2011
Human touch is very, very important. That night in February of 1996 when I died and was brought back at 3:00 am, after I was stable, everyone just disappeared. Someone else had come in with a heart attack and the whole ER staff was helping him. Karen was down in an office somewhere filling out the 3,000 forms necessary for my stay. I was alone in a cold ER not really knowing what had happened (to this day, no one knows why my heart stopped, just that it did), or what was going to happen. To say that I was disoriented and scared would be putting it mildly. Then, someone pulled the curtains back and walked up to my gurney. She was wearing a lab coat, but the most important thing was that she put her hand on my arm. She told me she worked in the lab and saw my name on the lab work. She reminded me that I had judged the third grade poetry class in her son's room at Gravette years ago. She spoke in slow and soothing tones, but it was her hand resting on my arm that gave me courage and hope. She didn't stay long, no one else ever saw her, but I did and I will never forget it. She was not a doctor or a nurse or a chaplain but she did more good for me than any of those could have at that moment. Just a minute or two of her hand on my arm in an almost empty emergency room. You have no idea what your touch can mean to those who love you and some you have never met. Learn to touch. It's the way God communicates.