Saturday, 26 November 2011

Oh shit and hail Mary.

From 2 Kings 18:27  (in the Authorised [or King James] version of the bible).

But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

I quote this verse to assert that the bible is unafraid of “earthy language”.  This gives me leave to utter the occasional “oh shit”.

I have previously introduced you to a great woman who lives in a neighbouring community. Her name is Betty M.  We meet as I walk my dog. Betty is an octogenarian ex-Marine.  She is feisty and funny. She is a widow.

One of her sons Steve M. moved in with her about two years ago. 

Steve is a wee bit younger than I.  He was a Methodist minister, but following a sad divorce he skated into a new career as a care-giver in a local Nursing Home. He and I have enjoyed some lovely chats.  He is a gentle soul. We both agree that his mother is “the tops”.

Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer about 8 weeks ago.  He is now moving towards death.

He and his Mom Betty put out the word that visitors were not welcome.  I understand this fully.
Should I be stricken with a terminal illness I too would not want “the world and his wife” to visit me.

Nonetheless I have prayed for Steve and Betty each day.

Betty ‘phoned me a couple of hours ago. She told me that she had held off from talking to me lest she should cry.

But of course she cried, and I assured her that I had heard and shared in many tears.

I said that my primal reaction to Steve’s illness was to utter the words “Oh shit”.  She knew and recognised that language.

Then I offered to pray on the ‘phone.  She agreed.

Knowing her to be of Irish Catholic heritage I launched into a prayer from that tradition.

I prayed:
“Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and at the hour of our death AMEN

Betty joined in with this prayer, even as she wept.

“Oh shit” and “Hail Mary” were the best prayers I could offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment