verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From the Ledge(r)

Mary and Pam

I am sitting here in my office writing this blog (shhhh...) while Pam reads to me.  She's reading one of my favorite columns:  the Monadnock Ledger Police Log.  It's a treasure. This is one of the most precious aspects of my work--not the Ledger itself--but the sharing of the Ledger.   And the sharing of everything else.  In the case of the Ledger, we always share a great rip-roaring laugh.  In the case of this morning, we shared a collective gasp.

I have to write about this.  Have to.  We show up in this office to help usher people through hard times.  Sometimes hard times change and become good times.  We like it when that happens.  Sometimes hard times stay hard, so we try to help people feel heard and maybe a little less alone.  Sometimes that is all we can do, and most times, it's the best we can do.  We carry many stories with us, but the stories that cut closest are the ones we share with each other--about ourselves. These early morning check-in conversations are an important part of preparing for the day's work we are about to undertake.  And for me, they have become an essential part of my heart.

Today during our morning conversation Pam shared a story. Pam also has a blog and I don't know if this story will make her blog, but it's making mine.  Pam's mother is dying of Alzheimer's.  Outside Mary's room is a memory box which contains mementos from Mary's life:  photos, a plate, small trinkets of the past.  This glassed-in box has shelves and a lock.  Last night Pam discovered that some of the items had been rearranged, and others had been removed.  Pam found the missing pieces carelessly stuffed into a magazine rack in her mother's room.  It remains a mystery as to how or why these items were moved.  An explanation is in order, and I'm sure it will come.

But as Pam shared this story with us, we became riveted. As we heard that the memories from the memory box had been unexpectedly handled and moved, we became disturbed and upset.  Mary is unaware that any of this transpired.  But Pam--Pam knows it happened.  That was hard to bear. Pam felt it for her mother; we felt it for Pam. It's hard to not become terribly protective of each other.

We share our stories in the office.  We laugh, we share silence, and sometimes we cry.  Thankfully for the Monadnock Ledger Police Log, we always get back to laughing pretty quickly.  As she sits here reading to me about some drunken hunter, I am grateful for the chance to tell and hear these stories.  As she ushers her mother forward, I realize that all I can do is listen and help her feel a little less alone.  And knowing that--that is the best I can do.

*Pam's blog:

1 comment:

  1. it's all about who's next to me when the water gets deep! Thankyou my friend