“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”
He breathes beneath the face-mask,
hoping the fever might subside,
receiving drips to help his lungs break up congestion,
listening to the beeping of the monitors:
heartbeat, blood pressure, neural messaging.
Sweat comes and goes.
Sleep is sporadic.
Appetite is diminished,
but he can still manage
to get some food down.
Two other tubes
seep other medications
into his bloodstream.
Yes, dammit, he has the nasty virus.
And he’s 71,
and he knows he’s endangered.
And … almost worst of all,
he can’t receive any visitors.
Thank God, the staff are caring;
putting their own selves at risk,
acting as some kind of substitute family and friend support-system.
If only he had a cellphone, or I-pad,
he might, despite his weakness,
despite his immune system fighting at full bore,
be able to connect with loved ones,
and others who matter.
A gift arrives,
his grand-daughter sent him a cellphone,
a burner, but it will do.
He gets to tell those who matter to him
that he trusts in Jesus,
“the resurrection and the life”.
Three hours before he dies.
She breathes beneath the face-mask,
normal breaths, though some are staggered.
She wears it whenever she goes out,
along with protective gloves.
And she’s been washing her hands frequently,
and disinfecting everything she can think of,
including the daily mail.
She’s out and about only for essentials:
groceries, drug store necessities,
some pick-ups at the hardware store,
a few Dollar-store items that might come in handy.
She connects online each day
with friends and other family.
She calls the lonely, elderly neighbour next door
and fetches for him whatever he needs.
She’s coaching and protecting
her 14-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter,
trying to help them cope,
ensuring that they connect with online schooling,
inventing activities to keep them
occupied, happy, less anxious, safe.
And every day,
she counts her blessings,
that though they all live in a high-risk area,
“this too shall pass”.
And she just can’t stop believing in Jesus
who said, “I am the resurrection and the life”