It's a hard row to hoe.
When we came here the farmers were feverishly working to get in those last rows of corn and beans, late from the relentless spring rains. Knee high by the Fourth of July seemed up in the air. But everything works out in the end, doesn't it? The weather and life are how they are meant to be and really we have only a small amount of control over it. That's what I keep telling myself.
The Fourth of July came and went and we are still here, but the time is getting short. On that first day I made a prediction that I would come to know the people I saw as I navigated this new space. What I could never have imagined is that this would become my new normal. Not in a million years.
A dozen times in these last weeks I sat down to write about my experiences here. The words would not come. I wanted to let them out, but they are stuck somewhere between my head and my heart. A heart and head that are in a never ending game of tug of war. Dragging each other through the mud in a battle where no one is a winner.
I wanted to tell you about the people who stay here and their stories that have kept me captivated like a book I would stay up all night to read. When one story fades, another begins, and each one will forever have a little place in my heart.
I wanted to tell you about the people who work here who I have lunched with, laughed with, prayed with, and let comfort me. And trusted. From the nurse's assistant who offers a hug every day to the janitor I just stood with and watched a nationally publicized trial verdict. These people have the most tremendous capacity for understanding I have ever encountered.
You should hear all about the incredible Bernice, the only female patient in the house, who made me laugh every.single.day with her stories and her ability to say whatever was on her mind. Bernice saved her lunches to feed the birds and squirrels and would share any of her few possessions with you without a second thought. One day she privately told me the story of how she came to be here and I walked away feeling as if she gave me a gift. I cheered on the day she was able to go home, but I miss her and will always wonder how life is treating her.
I wanted you to know the man on the other side of the curtain and how I came to adore him. And how I felt so honored to sit close to him in his final days and that I quietly cried when they took him away. Mr. Clinton with the beautiful soul.
These are all things I wanted you to know. But most of all, I wanted you to know my dad.
And those are all the words I have for now....