If Only 5 Minutes

by Karen Grimord on February 23, 2006

He is now stateside at the hospital. He is no longer here. I can not help them from here. As soon as I hit U.S. soil I will see what I can do for them.

My favorite patient this week was leaving tomorrow, but has now been postponed until next Tuesday due to a large number of others that must leave before him. Every time I see him we talk, if for only 5 minutes. I have seen a huge change in him in the week that he has been here. He says that I lift a burden from him just by talking, but he has made this week very worthwhile for me.

5 minutes is all it takes and why do people not seem to have that time to give it away?

I watched two people pass an older gentleman in uniform this week that was bent over in pain and both of them passed him and did not ask if they could help. When I stopped to ask him if I could help, he told me he just needed to take a break. He had hurt his back down range and had to take it slow. I told him I understood back pain and that I had hurt mine and it was no walk in the park. I told him I could get a chair and he reassured me he was fine. I told him that I could walk with him for support and he told me, “Miss, you don’t know how much it means that you just stopped. I thank you just for checking on me.”  Can you imagine how he must have felt seeing those two pairs of boots walk right past him and not even ask if he was ok? OK his face was to the ground; he still saw those boots walk by!!!! He did not look and see their faces and they never have to answer to him about why they did not stop and ask if they could help, but the ALMIGHTY ABOVE SAW !!!!!!!

5 minutes and the man that could not see because his face and eyes were so pitted from a blast could have had the phone next to his bed when his family called today. Instead he was reaching into thin air and did not get to the phone in time. I put the phone on his table talked to him softly and took his hand and put it on the phone so he would know where to reach. I described the fabric his quilt was made out of and colors and woodland scene on it for him. I told him the color of the clothes that he would be flying home in tomorrow and what he had in his bag so he did not have to worry about what he actually had or did not have. I told him where his bag was located. A tear rolled down his face as I asked him if I could do anything else for him. He squeezed my hand and said no mama. I don’t think he realized what he said. I whispered to him to have a safe trip home.

5 minutes and the kid who lost his hand had a pillow for his half an arm to rest on; had an extra blanket to get him a little warmer and a fresh glass of water.

5 minutes and the kids who will lose their father in a month or so could share their story and we could exchange addresses, phone numbers, hugs and smiles.

I may give away my 5 minutes more freely than others and it really hurts when I do at times. But I would rather be the person that gives that 5 minutes away, gets sick from the sadness and worries over those I gave those 5 minutes to than the person that does not give that 5 minutes to anyone.

Sorry this is not an upbeat and cheerful post, I have a very young kid very much on my mind.

Karen

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