At the hospice, everyone is blue

Debbie Taylor,
Ann Arbor, MI.

My mother passed away on December 14, 2012 of liver cancer at the age of 80 and she spent her last afternoon and night in Ann Arbor Hospice.

The staff was loving, kind and professional. One nurse in particular examined my mother with such tenderness and care that I was moved beyond measure.

It was such a contrast to the experience she’d had at the hands of another medical professional as a middle school child. While playing with her brothers in a small town near Columbus, Ohio, she fell on a piece of glass and was carried by my uncles to a white doctor’s house. He stitched up her wound WITHOUT any anesthesia, leaving a scar to carry the rest of her life. She never shared that information herself — my uncle was the first to relate the story. Progress in some areas of health disparities has surely been made, but I am concerned about others who have no access to the kind ministrations of a St. Joseph’s Hospital or a fine hospice.

Sharing the words came easily and quickly because my mother raised us to have respect for EVERYONE, including ourselves. All of her children and grandchildren were taught that race was a strange, artificial construct and that “people are people.” So my six words were not the result of a personal revelation, but rather a sigh—one that I wished to share with others. I appreciated the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for your interest.

Debbie Taylor


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