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A friend of mine called today. Her grandfather was told he has lung
cancer, they have basically sent him home to die. She is heading out in
a few days to see him. It is going to be hard on her I am sure. Just
talking to her brings back a rush of memories. Some of them good, some
of them bad. One memory that sticks out in my brain like a splinter in
my ass is of a lady who thought she was doing me a favor by telling me
that I was going to hell because I wasn’t a christian. I thought I was
doing her a favor by offering to volunteer some of my very precious
time to her and her animals. Granted I was being a bit selfish because
I am at my best when I’m outside with animals. When one of the nurses
aides offered to come sit with dad when he was dying of cancer a few
hours a week so I could go and help out a friend of hers I jumped on
it. Set up the meeting and everything was going well until she asked me
the question that every christian asks. “Is jesus your lord and
savior?” FUCK ME!!
“No.” I replied. Here it comes. blah blah HELL blah blah eternal
damnation blah blah I am unresponsive with a slight grin. So here comes
the whammy. She drones on. “Imagine having to live through your very
worst nightmare — unless you accept jesus as your savior — that is
what you will go through. Hell.”
“I am 2500 miles away from my husband. I gave up my home, friends and
job to come take care of my father who is dying. Less than two months
ago I held my mother’s dead hand and said goodbye to her forever, but
not until I had to tell the doctors and nurses to let her go. I see my
dad suffer and there is nothing I can do for him but be there and tell
him I love him. I am a 29 year old orphan. My worst nightmare was
losing my parents and here I am living it. Anything that your god can
throw at me now wouldn’t even make a dent. I am here to offer you help
a few hours a week. Clean out stalls, feed, care for the animals you
name it I can do it. But I won’t have this conversation with you again.
If you can deal with the fact that a non-christian is willing to come
by and help out then great … if you can’t then that is your loss. You
think it over and give me a call.”
I got home fighting back tears. I told dad the whole tale; he took my
hand and said “Her loss. You are a wonderful person – you and I both
know it. You don’t have to be a christian to be a good person. In fact
most christians aren’t.”
I never heard from that lady. I miss my dad.