Tuesday’s 200 Words: Closer than Venus

My niece has been in the hospital for over one month. She’s 16 and being fed through a tube. As I type, she’s walking for the first time in over a week.

Sam lives in Maryland, 2724 miles from me (which is far closer than Australia or Venus). During this hospitalization, the first thing I do when I wake is check Facebook. Her fabulous wit vacated about 10 days ago. Prior to that, my favorite of her status updates was, “Please don’t call me Jennifer when you take my blood.”

I’m not soliciting sympathy, just describing the circumstances. She will heal.

There’s an incredible band of friends showing solidarity for Sam. Not only a Facebook chorus of cheerleaders and empathizers, but also people with arms and legs and smiles showing up in the most delightful ways.

I could tell you that, since I’m too far to be there, I’m attempting to pay it forward here. (Today I’m helping with a memorial service for a woman I never met.) But the fact is: I’m feeling detached and helpless. I’ve been absolutely delinquent in the ways I spend my time. Currently late to prep for a meeting at work, unhappy with all that is unfinished.


A free community writing project: Holidailies participants vow to update their personal web sites daily from Dec. 6-Jan. 5.

One thought on “Tuesday’s 200 Words: Closer than Venus

  1. Oh, Ruth. I am so sorry for your niece’s struggles and your feelings of helplessness. If I can ever be your arms and legs here in Maryland, just ask.

    Thanks so very much, Megan.

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