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Harry Geist

"When Harry Met Delwar" reminded me of the following incident in my life:

When I was nineteen years old, I worked as an orderly at a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was assigned to the Post Operative Care unit and my primary responsibility was to bring patients back to their rooms after they had sufficiently recovered from their surgery. The patient transport elevators were just outside the surgical suites and several times a week, while waiting for the elevator to arrive, I would see Evelyn.

Evelyn worked in the laundry. She wore the pink scrubs and shoe covers that were the uniform of the laundry staff. She was a tiny woman, slightly bent over, with gray hair showing around the edge of her pink hair bonnet. Evelyn moved and spoke quietly and looked to be in her seventies. It was her job to collect the laundry from the surgical suites a couple of times a day, and so I would often see her while waiting for the elevator. I always made a point of saying hello to Evelyn and asking her how her day was going. At first, she would simply smile and say “fine,” and go about her work. After a few weeks, she started to pause from her work, and we would have a nice conversation that would end when my elevator arrived. Through our conversations I discovered that Evelyn had a daughter that lived on the west coast, and a son that lived on the east coast. She rarely got to see them and she missed them greatly. She always inquired about what was happening in my life and showed a genuine interest in me. It has been twenty-five years since those conversations with Evelyn, and while I cannot remember many of the details, I remember well her kindness. I worked for the hospital for about nine months. Early during my last week of employment with the hospital, I mentioned to Evelyn that Friday would be my last day. That Friday, Evelyn presented me with an envelope that contained a card. I opened the card and a five-dollar bill slid into my hand. The more valuable gift was the note written on the card that said, “Thank you for caring about me. Love Evelyn.” She gave me a hug with tears welling-up in her eyes and then she walked away.

I walked into the changing room and sat down, feeling overwhelmed with what had just transpired. My Dad, who was a surgeon and practiced at this hospital, walked in and saw that I had tears in my eyes. I showed him the card and the five-dollar bill and he said, “Evelyn is just the kind of person who disappears in a busy hospital like this; you made her visible.”

I once read that, “Relationships are the essentials, rather than the accidentals of our lives.” Evelyn reminded me that this was true. FISH! has helped me to live this reality more fully.

Hip Deep Halper

How do we get to "Being There?" It's developing our gifts of intentions. That is, "I intend to BE" and learn how to be effective in creation. Could life be not so much about finding ourselves - but about creating ourselves? As Rolly May said, it takes courage to create! We are here to be creative, yes?
What a gas! Good for Harry's intentional ways of being!

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