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My Conection
Author: Clive B Ringshall

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Another spell in the hospital; I’m only seven and hospitals have become my real home. The odor that drifts all around is not just the smell of clean; but a smell that reaches down into the pit of your stomach then wells around churning your stomach acids into a frenzy like riding the waltzer at the fair.

The next observation you learn in the hospital is the loudness of the whispers around each bed. The talking is at such a level so not to be heard, but at the same time so loud that to make out the sound you cannot try. The sudden crash of a kidney bowl hitting the floor with the force of one car hitting another has the effect of everyone jumping in their beds, followed by laughing out loud, until you remember where you are.

Paul in the bed across from me was another regular. We had become friends, well hospital friends, as we lived too far away to play. Without warning a nurse called out “HELP”. Then as if watching a scene from a movie, the ward came to life. Nurses came from all around like they were trained just for this moment. A doctor walked calmly down the ward to the bed of commotion. The screens had been pulled. Who? What was going on? Then with a second glance it all became clear. It was Paul’s bed. Paul was the one in need.

I walked over to see if I could see. There was a gap in the curtain that seemed to have been left for me. As I walked closer a hand pulled me back. A nurse said “Not now, Paul needs his rest. Maybe tomorrow, then we shall see.”
I walked back to my bed still thinking of Paul and watching from across the ward. Slowly the nurses and doctors left Paul’s bed, still the curtains were drawn. The ward now became quiet as it was before. He may need me I convinced myself. I went back over to see my friend. I pulled back the curtain that was inviting me in. Paul was laying there asleep. “Paul,” I whispered in my softest breath. “Paul, it’s me,” louder this time. I touched his back and said his name again.

He felt so cold, like marble on the ground, on this warm humid night. His eyes were closed and he was as still as could be. We had both played this game before but got in trouble back then. I shook him hard, still no reply. Then I jumped out of my skin, a nurse came in. She took me to my bed and sat to explain. “Paul is not here anymore,” she said maybe twice. I looked at her and replied, “Yes he is, I saw him but he needs a blanket ‘cuz he’s cold. Tomorrow we are going to play a new game. Paul’s my friend you see.”

As the truth hit me in the words I heard I started to cry and shake uncontrollably. I tried to call the nurse a liar but the words were stuck in my thoughts. Nothing would come out while I cried about the reality of my friend who would no longer be able to play.

This was my first experience in losing a friend. “Paul was ill and his heart could not go on,” I was told by everyone. That did not make it right. Then two men came in dressed in black. Through the curtain they went and took Paul away. An hour passed, the sheets were changed, and the curtains now open as if nothing had changed. But it had, Paul was no longer there. What happened to my friend? Please, someone explain. I was told that God now had Paul, but tomorrow we were going to play a game. I now was angry that I was mad, not at Paul, but he who took Paul away.

Time passed and hospital visits changed. Many more stays I had but none were the same. I still remember Paul and cry out at times. As I grew older I made other friends. As I grew older I worked where death happened every week, sometimes everyday. I still believe that the shell we leave behind is nothing more than that, a shell. Our spirit goes on. This I believe: when the time comes I’ll see them all again, with my friend Paul.

------- Author's Notes -------

This was inspired by a memory from long ago,
Seems my mind is full of memories today,
Also I gave this memour in as an Eng 211 class,
hope you read every tear that fell.

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Comments on this poem/writing:

joyce ivy (65.12.41.128) -- Friday, October 15 2004, 04:38 pm

Clive This Was Touching

Clive your story touched my heart..it is sad that it's true..But death is real as I have learned that in my life last month when I lost my mother on the 3rd and grandmother on the 30th...I have found out just how permanent death really is...Your story was very well written..and I did feel every teardrop that fell from you...for I felt them come from myself as I read your story..and thought of what it must have been like for you as a child..going through this experence...Best Regards...Very touching Clive...
Clive (67.42.141.76) -- Friday, October 15 2004, 06:28 pm

Thank You

Thank you for feeling the pain that stays, I read your losses and truley feel your pain. Again thank you for taking the time to read
Terrie* (65.148.211.128) -- Saturday, October 16 2004, 12:10 am

Clive, ( wiping tears away...)

i read and felt everty tear that fell, each one had something special to share i stepped into the world you once knew did this for myself, to better understand death seemed so final but have learned the insights of breathing the beauty in a life that makes an exit as a new life that has come to be they both touch our souls spending the last preciouis moments with another life that will soon take on their last breath has it's rewards..as much as being present for a new birth i've tasted my many tears over my years thank you for the tender touch of your bare heart
Clive (67.42.141.76) -- Saturday, October 16 2004, 02:39 am

So close

Your comments touch my soul, as ever I feel you near, Thank you for your words of choice, Thank you Terrie
Aimee: ) (202.89.42.245) -- Saturday, January 8 2005, 08:46 pm

clive

i love your poem it brought tears to my eyes! Im still a child now(14) and have only had 3 uncles & a grandad die! but i cant remember that or really remeber them as i was only young!!!your poem is really touching! i love it!
Terrie* (65.148.233.168) -- Saturday, January 8 2005, 09:53 pm

Aimee, PSSSST....i cannot tell a lie...

this creation was not mine all though i am impressed to know that you thought highly of the thought that i could have. besides being a dear friend, Clive is also one of the best poets here you will ever find. and i agree w/you this brought tears to my heart as well psst Aimee, with you in the lead this gives me a chance to say. Clive, this is indeed very touching. for your words have touched the heart of Aimee's soul
 
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