A Most Beautiful Compensation
In response to my posting "No Man is an Island" C.O.D.R.A. Member Wendy Frost sends this stirring personal account:
"I didn't know Raymond Diaz, but I am sorry for his loss. Your words on Tuesday really touched me and I thank you for them.
As a nurse, I am cautioned against getting close to patients for the very same reasons. I'm aware of transference and counter-transference. I've been scolded by a friend who is a therapist and who volunteers with the Red Cross. Warned that I am taking the situation in Pearlington too personally. Informed that I need to let it and them go - that I've done enough.
But as you said, if not me who? Who will care? Who will keep the forgotten people from being forgotten again? I have formed deep and lasting friendships with many in the community and I refuse to sever those ties.
It isn't enough when so many in our great country are still homeless. It isn't enough when our very own people do not have the means to take care of their dead, or the hope to carry on alone. How can this happen in America? It happens because we have allowed it to happen. We are encouraged to protect ourselves to the point of apathy, then have the gall to say "isn't that awful, someone should do something!"
So like you, I will go on caring too much. I will continue to be hurt, frustrated and sad. I won't stop until the homeless and hopeless have hope again. I'll go on caring too much until those who don't care at all become involved. I'm not bold enough or conceited enough to allow myself to believe that I can save the world, let alone Pearlington, but I can make a difference. I truly believe that one person, any person who is blessed with just a little faith, can make a difference.
Yes caring hurts, but it also heals. When you see hope and tears of joy shine in eyes that were dull and listless, and shoulders and a spine that were rounded with grief and despair stand straight and tall with the pride of being a homeowner, the pain associated with caring too much goes away. In it's place is a sense of well-being and accomplishment and a sense of knowing that this is what it truly means to be a healer.
Again, thank you for your wonderful words. You have no idea just how much I needed to hear them."
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life,
that no man can sincerely try to help another
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thank you, Wendy. Well felt. Well written.