Author Topic: Failing To Help. The Doctor Losing the Patient & Forced To Call the Next to Kin.  (Read 1006 times)

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Failing To Help. The Doctor Losing the Patient & Forced To Call the Next to Kin.

For must of my life, I never saw, or even knew there were; or perhaps, I did not want to know there were homeless people in America. Well, if I did, I did not know that they were that hungry. My first experience with the homeless was after I completed college and moved to an international city in the United States to begin work. I can still recall my sock, sadness and frustration over my meager ability to do anything to help this very old man that was living on the streets year round, in the sweltering heat of the summer, and in the frozen artic like winter that my community could occasionally experience. So, as a young person, I began volunteering at the local Salvation Army Mobil kitchen to help feed the homeless in the city. I have since, discovered that there are so many of us transsexuals that are homeless across America.

As life progressed, I had moved on too a new city in the deep, deep, deep, conservative South East of the United States. I was living in the heart of the Antebellum, Gone With The Wind old south. I got up early one Sunday morning, like all good people do, down there, to prepare for Sunday morning church services. I wanted to be respectable! It was an early bright and cool summer morning. There was a sea breeze coming from the ocean, almost in sight of my house that had an ancient live Oak tree that shaded almost the entire house from the hot southern sun. I still have fund memories of the “Grandfather’s Beard” streaming down from the trees hug ancient limps.  I got to Church that moring, and did the respectable thing. Like every week, following Sunday morning service, I walked out to the front entrance of the sanctuary, and congregated with all of the other Southern gentlemen that were dress in their Sunday finest, and holding the “Good book” in their right hand, while telling each other how blessed we were. Yes, life was comfortable during those days. But, not too comfortable; you see; I was a Northerner, and I was never allowed to forget that fact. I did not have dead Southern ancestors to worship.

All of this Southern comfort, and ease was about to abruptly change for me, and my perception of life was going to be tested, and challenged by the approach of a desperately hungry man that stood before us gentlemen at the front of the church building, with his entire body shaking, as he asked us, begged us, to help him. All of the gentlemen did the prescribed and predictable thing, and ignored him. I could not. I just could not. I was extremely frightened, but asked him to come home with me for Sunday diner. He had agreed. His name was Bob; he was an alcoholic that had been on the road for a very long time. He had long ago, lost all contact with his family, back in Ohio. He did the blessing over the Sunday afternoon diner. Oh my, did he know the Bible. I was completely shocked that this could happen to such a person. There were times he made me feel as if I was a school child in the presence of a Master of this book.

I invited him to stay as long as he wanted, and to take the guest room, so long as he did not smoke, or drink in the house, or come home drunk. He was always polite, kind, and quiet. But, after time, he began to drink ,and come home late at night drunk. I warned him several times; and finally, I was forced to ask him to leave. But, during the time he was with me, I toured the city with him, in his search for employment to no avail. It was beyond being emotionally painful to have had to ask him to leave. I really felt as; if somehow, I also had failed. A few days past since he was gone, and I picked up the local news paper, and began reading. In the obituaries, it describe a man just like Bob that was found dead. It did not give a clear indication of the cause of death, but after contacting the local officials, it was clear it was suicide. I put down the phone, closed the door to my study, and could not stop crying. I had failed to extend the full measure of help Bob needed, I could have done better, and it cost him his life. I had to contact his next of kin. They simply told me that it really did not matter. After all, he was just a bum; that is what his sister told me over the phone. I just could not stop crying. He had no one else, so I was forced to identify the body. I will never for get this.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2007, 08:31:45 pm by Godiva »