(Gladys is not her real name)

So, today, an hour ago, I went to a patient’s home to help her out with something.  She is a very pleasant 83-year-old woman from Brooklyn, NY. She likes to watch The Nanny on TV and is always complimenting me on my hair, my outfit, etc.  Very nice patient.   When I went to see her today, she had a friend over.  This friend is also a patient I have.  I had no idea the two of them were friends.  The second patient is from San Francisco, is Greek, and is always irritated when women wear pants.  She as well is elderly and both of them are very sharp, quick-witted, and friendly.  Again, both of these old ladies love me and we talk and have a great time.  I love hearing about San Francisco and Brooklyn and the good ol’ days.

In the course of conversation, friend #2 stops mid-sentence and looks like she is listening to something going on down the hall. Friend #1 asks what she hears.  “Oh, nothing, I thought I heard Gladys”.  Then they turn to me, “Do you know Gladys?  Is she one of your patients?” I tell the truth and say, “No, I don’t know that name.”

And then they start to describe her.  And the conversation changed a bit.  Just a bit.

Apparently Gladys is not liked by anyone.  Gladys is loud, obnoxious, pushy, and is a Born-Again Christian.  She wears a big sign on her walker about being “born-again” and asks these ladies if they have found Jesus yet. They reply, “No, is he lost again?”

I laugh.  It was funny. So sue me.

What to say, what to say…Do I need to say anything?  Does it even matter?  We were having such a great conversation.

What if I was married to a black man and they started saying how much they hate black men…I would speak up just to spite them and let them know, “I love black people!”

Is this any different?

So then, friend #2 (Patient #2) turns to me and asks, “Do you know any people like that?”

I smile and say, “I love Jesus! But everyone is a little different in how they love Him back I suppose…” My voice trails off as we change the subject.

They went back to complimenting my outfit, we said our goodbyes, and I left.  We still like each other, it’s not a big deal. But it was…I said “I love Jesus!” out loud (And everyone sucked air).  And it felt good.  Real good.

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