i’ll try to make room for you
August 11, 2009
There was a moment at Susan’s funeral Monday that pretty much summed up the gap between those who know what charity means and those of us who pay lip service. I’ve always said that true charity was a strictly Godly attribute, and that all human action is motivated by self-interest. (I know, this is one of the definitions of cynicism, but really, I’ve always seen that as a good thing–cynicism, at least defined that way, gets a bad rap. Think of it as Adam Smith’s invisible hand at work governing social interaction–it’s a good thing. Or at least I used to think so.)
Susan has convinced me that some people are just plain good. Susan carried the fire. Susan makes me want to be a better person.
Susan was confined to a hospital bed in her living room for the last several months of her life. And Sue, Susan’s neighbor, visited and watched over Susan some of pretty much every day (and is certainly another reason for my reassessment of the human condition), and related that in the last days of Susan’s life, she (Sue) was sitting by Susan’s bed, rambling on, talking and keeping Susan company, even though she was pretty sure Susan was beyond hearing or understanding.
As part of the rambling, Sue casually mentioned how tired she was, and how nice it would be if she could just climb up into the bed with Susan and they could cuddle and rest and just “be.”
And to her surprise, Susan fluttered open her eyes, painfully reached over to the bed guard (when the act of rolling over was fraught with danger of broken bones), struggling to open it, and weakly whispered “I’ll try to make room for you.”
Normal people don’t do that. But wouldn’t it be nice if they did?