Ode to Emma (a hospice house chronicle)

by Bill Rogers, LDHH-H volunteer

Neither of us had any thought
that our lives might intersect.
Her parents had introduced us
and approved our relationship.

Her long brunette hair
framed her porcelain skin.
We spent a few hours talking
as we watched a movie one evening.

Because she had seen the movie previously,
she explained the plot after reading
my expressions of confusion.

She asked what term of endearment
is used by my grandchildren.
“Then,” she whispered, “I also will call you Billy.”

Without warning, when the movie turned scary,
she leaned in my lap.

Later, looking in my eyes,
she said, “Billy, I like your beard.”
With innocent spontaneity,
she felt my beard, and
she kissed my cheek.

Likely, we will never see each other again.
But Emma has endowed
my mind with memories.

Doubtless, today her roaming attention
has moved beyond our encounter.

But let it be said. . . . last night,
her four-year old heart enfolded me,
her childish trust empowered me.

And, with appreciation,
her twenty-something parents said it was time for her to go.

Her parents had asked me to watch a movie with Emma while they attended the last rites being administered to Emma’s great-grandmother in her room at Levine & Dickson Hospice House – Huntersville.  And so goes my continuing chronicle of experiences granted each week in my hospice volunteer work.  Is there any doubt that this time is well spent??

Explore posts in the same categories: awareness, end of life, hospice, Levine & Dickson Hospice House, volunteering

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One Comment on “Ode to Emma (a hospice house chronicle)”

  1. Ann102288 Says:

    Beautiful..with a great, interesting twist.


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