August 31, 2012
Haiku My Heart is a weekly feature of Haiku, art, stories, photos and passion for the love of our fellows as we gather and meet and visit one another in an attempt to make Earth a more peaceful place. Visit Rebecca’s blog, recuerda mi corazon, to see more and find out how to participate.
Peace on Earth, achieved
Right hands filled with willing flesh
Feeling mankind bond
Very interesting experience at the VA the other day. As you may know, I go to the Veterans Administration hospital in Minneapolis for my health care. Since I had the blood clot in my atrium last November, I have been taking warfarin, a blood thinner, to help keep me from getting any more blood clots.
Part of the routine is to get the blood thinness to a certain level, then keep it there, steady, with medication. At first, the clinical pharmacist was adjusting my medication intake to achieve this blood number. After a while, it leveled off and I go back once per month to have it checked and adjust medication if needed.
The clinical pharmacist I see is a man from Africa. I can assume he is here legally if not already an American citizen but that makes no difference to me. I trust and respect him and he makes me feel like he has a general interest in me as a person as well as to help me keep my blood numbers at a safe and healthy level.
I will call him Fred for the purpose of this story as it would not be appropriate to divulge his real name without his permission.
Think, the journey is
Not taken alone. We are
Fred and I make a little small talk when I come to see him. He knows I ride a motorcycle and he knows I am a Grandfather from our few minutes of discussion we share each time I visit. He knows my health history because that’s his job. Because he started seeing me in late December, immediately after the pacemaker was installed and my heart shocked back into rhythm, and these visits have been frequent and regular, he has seen the subtle changes in my health, those that were for the good and those that were for the bad.
When my blood number changes and I don’t have any dietary changes to report, I wonder why and I speak to him. I ask, “Does my stress level have anything to do with the change?”
We talk about this and the subject of stress comes up. It’s on my file, yet I feel the need to mention that I deal with PTSD. I think I mentioned the fact that lately, I have been extremely stressed and anxious, both bi-products of war time PTSD.
In an effort to help me, and maybe even to tell me more about his own life, Fred mentions growing up in a war torn country. Sighting episodes of his parents hustling the children, he being one of them, to safety, while bullets are flying around their heads.
I realize instantly that I’m not the only one with PTSD. I understand that even though I am the patient here, being seen by the caregiver, the other person has a life and I have done little to understand the possibility of his circumstances.
I also realize that there are more causes of this disorder from trauma other than war. I have learned through program teachings and through the slow and steady healing that I am experiencing that the PTSD that stems from war has its own differences and set of stressors, and some of the symptoms are amplified or have different triggers, but also realize that others suffer from this disorder as well.
Fred and I talked a while longer, standing in his office. I told him that I knew I didn’t have a corner on the PTSD market and that I have been praying for Peace since I returned from the American war in Vietnam. I mentioned to him the suggestion that I know I am privileged as a white man in America and there is little I can do to change that. I can’t get rid of this privilege. I wish all of mankind was treated equal.
It was so important to me that Fred, a black skinned man, knew I loved him as a fellow human being, and I had an idea about how he had suffered at the hands of white skinned people both in Africa and here in the United States. I wanted so badly to let him know I had respect for people, all people, so I let him know my inner beliefs about Forgiveness, Acceptance and Peace.
Repeat after me
Mitakwe Oyasin (Mit-tok’-way Oh-why’-a-sin)
All my relatives
|Four Directions, four Sacred plants, Four colors of mankind|
We talked about Peace and we both agree that it starts right here, right now, with the two of us, living side by side in Peace.
We shake hands, and both of us use our left hand to clasp onto the back of each other’s right hand, as our right hands are filled with the flesh of our friendship in each other.
Peace on Earth, achieved, for that moment, in that place. For we are all related. Mitakwe Oyasin. Inawamagun. All my relatives.
This is post number 500 on Round Circle. One visitor will be chosen at random and receive a gift from Round Circle. Indicate if you are interested. Thank you for your visits here since 2007. I appreciate it greatly.