Saturday, September 17, 2005


Reaching in ...

Ben's personal strength was awesome though I am not necessarily referring here to his physical strength. However, had you seen him on the ice during his hockey stage racing toward you at full speed, you might have glimpsed an understanding of what it means to stand in front of an oncoming train! He was a fabulous ice skater and worked for the park district's ice rink one winter as an "ice guard" whose job it was to monitor the kids on the ice during open skating, picking up the little ones who had fallen and setting them aright.
However, to understand Ben's personal strength, we need to revisit the story of his infected appendectomy. After it was determined that his bowel was gurgling, Ben was soon released from the hospital but with an open appendectomy surgical wound. Left deliberately unsutchered, Ben would have to pack the wound twice daily with gauze and cotton and then tape the site shut. This was done to insure that the wound heal properly the second time around from the inside out.
I sat and watched Ben do this once at home and was then and remain now in awe of his personal gutziness. About three to four inches in depth and length, Ben had to reach in, pack the wound carefully and insure that it was completely filled! He continued doing this on a daily basis for several weeks. I remember that while watching him, I did not know whether to cry or laugh with pride and joy, but it was self-evident that, though life had raised the height of the bar, Ben vaulted over it with ease and grace!

1 comment:

Jan said...

Alan..how painful it must be to recall Ben's last minutes of life, but how wonderful to remember the "'more 'wice, Daddy'" times. I am sure that there are many more memories -- both sweet, and bittersweet -- and I am looking forward to reading about them. I know that others will be touched, as I have been. Thank you for sharing.