I don´t think she stands 4 ft tall. She wears several sweaters, all of different colors. Any one of them could match with the turban she wears; sometimes she wears a crocheted orange hat, sometimes yellow..
I first met her last Sept, she was a new client of the nurses I work for and I came to interpret for her. She was in bed; the only light was a 40 light bulb which made it difficult for the nurse to read her equipment, like the thermometer or blood pressure gage.
I introduced myself without seeing her face, just so she would know I was also in the room with her nurse. She needed some intimate caring for so I stood behind the furniture by the door, so she would know she had privacy. The sound of her voice was tense, she was in such pain but even then, her voice sounded like little fairy dust falling on water. Light. Buoyant. Were I to close my eyes, her voice sounded like a glittery ball that bounces over the words so lightly. It was girlish, though she is in her 50s.
She had a tube protruding thru her ribs to drain her lungs. It had to be changed each visit and she dreaded it. If her lung had to be drained she panicked. It was not only painful but disconcerting to feel her lung being sucked out her side. She suffered so. I did not see her face the first time, nor did she really pay attention to me. In all that demanded her attention, my voice was the only one she understood yet it was the nurse who she saw and dealt with.
The second visit was not much better but at the end she was able to sit on the bed. All 4 ft of her. She hardly noticed me though all communication was thru me. She focused on the nurse and her eyes danced as she was drinking all she was seeing.
There is no other way to explain it; her eyes were widely taking in the nurse before her. She was smiling but the smile was like her eyes, widely taking it all in. Like a like girl that sees a carrousel for the first time, the eyes just not big enough to see all of it. But this was no carousel; it was a nurse who spoke gently, pausingly, calmly, sitting unhurriedly on the chair provided her, still with her rubber gloves on, on occasion moving her hair off her face.
Reyna just loved to see that nurse, she exclaimed excitedly that she was awful young to be such a good nurse, the nurse replied slowly that she was in her late 40s, not such young chick any more. Reyna just could not believe it; she just looked and looked, her eyes dancing excitedly trying to get the whole image in. She loved that nurse.
We met twice per week for several months, her delight in her nurse never waned. After the chemo for the multiple brain tumors ended, her ravished little body was found to have cancer in several organs. Right away a round of chemo began for her body, I did not see how she could possibly live thru it, she was so incredibly frail.
Well, she didn’t.
To the end, her bright eyes danced like an exited little girl, she loved her nurse so much, always raving about how young she looked. Still it was my voice that carried her twinkling statements to accompany her delight. All made sense to look at her, in yellow turbans, several layers of sweaters of all different colors, over the “Finding Nemo” pajama pants; I’m sure about the few things to find in her size. The clothing was bigger than her own body mass. It was an effort now to inhale, but amazingly, her eyes danced like sparking fairy dust still.
There was nothing, absolutely nothing alluding the existence of Jesus there except the crucifix pinned over my heart I always wear, unequivocally Catholic, with several medals attached as well. I had to say it, totally out of turn, it would be more than what she was accustomed to hear, the medical jargon from the nurse….. I needed to say it out loud, so at the end, as we were leaving, I turned back and said it……” May God bless you”…..
I said to her that I would pray for her knowing darn well that if anyone knew I did that, I’d be fired on the spot, but I had to say it.
Once outside, the nurse was waiting for me, and told me that Reina would not last much more and no one had the courage to tell her, which was making her very angry. She thought she deserved to know that she was dying.
I did not see her again. She died very shortly after.
But the nurse called me after her death and told me that at the hospital, Reina said she wanted to join my religion.
Oh God!!! …………. oh…. God!
May Reina rest in peace, in the peace of Jesus’ arms.