Thursday, September 19, 2013


The saddest thing ever. Mount Zion hospital, a UCSF hospital, is my favorite because of their commitment to patients (I have been volunteering off and on at the Cancer Center for almost  10 years). There is always a certain amount of sadness for me at MZ. I remember Rose and Sharon. And, of course, everybody that I see coming and going seemingly, in one way or another, is fighting for their lives. 

A couple of days ago, I am passing the entrance to MZ on my way to lunch with a friend. An older man is trying to get the wife, I assume (which is usually not a good idea), from a wheelchair into a car. My first thought, "this man should not even be driving," like it is any of my business. To say he is struggling is an understatement. A couple of parking attendants are watching helplessly. The older man simply cannot do it. I asked if I can help. He says NO. A smarter guy would have gone on. I am not sure what is going on or what to do. Getting someone from a wheelchair to the car is a technique that I learned with Rose. You have to go under their arms, put all the weight on you and then once you have them, if you are strong enough, which I am mostly, (Or, it shouldn't be attempted) maneuver them into the car. I insisted to the man that I have done it often and that I am the chaplain, hoping that will allow him to give me permission. Without waiting, I went under her arms, lifted her up. He pulled out the wheelchair at my direction. I put her in the front seat. "Let's get your seatbelt on." He thanked me. They drove off. 

Thank you Lord. The sad fact:  here is an older couple, I would say in their eighties; Who is looking after them?