Part of my hospital chaplaincy duties is to write a reflection on how it’s going. Identities may be altered for privacy. All the writings are here.
The patient, Jerome, had a trapezoid-shaped hole in his head, and he told me it was from his son.
Jerome’s son had waited in his father’s home until he came back from work, and then he robbed him. Jerome fought back. In the struggle, his son had picked up one of those bright and shiny geode rocks the size of a torso, lifted it to the sky, and wham, in a sick, slicing arc, brought it down into his father’s head. The son was still at large. The father, after six months in physical therapy, still could not get the blood stain out of the carpet in his house. Jerome had lost his job at the oil rig; his wife had left him; his other son took two jobs to pay off the hospital bills, but one evening after dropping off his dad for PT, had been struck by a sixteen-wheeler and died on impact.
“Chaplain, I had this dream,” Jerome said, scratching his old wound, “that in another world, I was someone else, I was someone better, that I have two sons who love me, my wife never left, I was still at the rig with the boys … I had a dream that I was someone not me. It was extraordinary. It was wo—”
He fell asleep, which he told me would happen. His brain needed to shut down when it overworked itself. A few seconds later, he woke up and apologized.
“I had this dream, chaplain. Do you ever dream that you are someone in another world, a different you?”