Waiting 99 Days, More or Less

Have you read enough books or met enough people to distinguish truth from fiction?

If so, how many did it take before you could distinguish it within yourself?

Which were most insightful and which are no longer in your bookcase or part of your family?

For those left, how many ask to be read, and how many ask to read you?

I was alone sitting in the dark, staring at a group of teenagers who were smiling, joyful, and generally playful about the events of the evening. The word ‘suicide’ flashed through my mind, and immediately I began to tear up. I wanted to leave but was waiting for someone, so wait I did.

The act of waiting attracts opinions like flies, oft preceded by the question ‘”Why?”. That night an answer struck me from a different angle.


On the surface, because I promised to. On a level just below, because I knew no one else would. On a level even further down, because I loved the individual, and it was for me a form of care that although I knew would fall into their short-term memory bin of minutia, was living in the long-term bin of increase.

Folks pay a pretty penny for long-term care, and I’ve witnessed its benefits. There are too many factors to note that explain when that kind of care kicks in, but most common are sickness, age, and family unable to take on the responsibility of care if there is family at all.

I knew a woman that outlived everyone in her family, and who had one of those plans purchased for her when she was in her forties. She was a military vet, a retired doctor, and a widow with one daughter and two grandchildren. Her daughter was also up in age, as were the grandchildren. All were too infirmed to make the trek to visit her, and all passed on before her. She’d initially had two caregivers, but her insurance was covering a period no one anticipated, so they left her with one.

Her caregiver was also up in age, but the agency let her continue on, as she insisted on wanting to wait for her to let go because at that time, everyone including doctors, believed her passing would happen within a few months.

Those few months turned into a few years. Her caregiver died one week before she did, and I can’t be sure, but part of me suspects she was waiting for her caregiver to let go.

It turned out that someone amongst those teenagers did die, and part of me suspects that some of us come upon so many books and so many people, that we can feel the truth of things, no matter what’s going on.

What I’m saying is that waiting can be done in a state of ongoing short-term care, pouring colorful Love into temporary places amongst people congregating for reasons we may or may not understand.

Poured or unpoured, colorful or gray, Love is a long-term care that makes all the difference to the living, especially those who have 99 days, more or less, before making it home.

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