Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello rain.

*written with permission of individuals mentioned

It's raining today
It's raining today
Hello rain, hello rain. . .

I want to go outside and play
I want to go outside
Hello rain, hello rain. . .

Raindrops fall
Raindrops falling down
All around

from "Hello Rain"
(a great song by Marcia Berman that I sang with Isaiah at the bus stop this morning)


Today it was pouring down rain in Atlanta all day long. The sky was this confluent shade of murky gray and the relentless downpour came in the kind of sheets that renders even the best umbrellas useless.


This was definitely not a day that makes folks who rely upon public transportation or parking meters clamor to come to the hospital. Who can blame them? I didn't exactly want to be at work today either.

That is until I saw one of best things ever. . . . .

I saw this lovely Grady elder who was well into her nineties. . . .accompanied by her daughter who was well into her seventies. . . .and her granddaughter who was well into her forties. All wedged into a tiny clinic room together.

In the waiting room was. . . .her great-granddaughter who was in her twenties. . . .holding her child. . .the patient's great-great-granddaughter. All at Grady together on a torrential Monday just for Mother's appointment.


"Did ya'll have special plans today?" I asked, "Is that why everyone is here?"

"Nope," replied Daughter with a smile and a shrug. "We just here with Mother."

"Yep," said Granddaughter and winked at Mother sitting over to the side in her wheelchair.

Mother simply beamed while they looked at her--almost child-like. I can't recall the last time I saw anyone look at another human being so lovingly. The love in that room was . . . . inexplicable.

I studied Mother carefully. She was bundled up in layers; someone had obviously put great care into making sure she didn't get soaked. Her snowy hair was in a network of neatly connected plaits and her weathered hands rest quietly on her bony legs. She gazed back at her doting descendants, her once brown eyes appeared almost blue from the cholesterol haze outlining each aging iris.

Aaaah, but my how they still sparkled.

"You okay, Mother?" Grandaughter queried while adjusting the jacket that sat on her grandmother's shoulders. Daughter immediately joined in and began fussing over something else that didn't need fussing over.

Mother smiled and spread her trembling hands out toward each of them. Both women quickly clasped them into their own. She looked from side to side at both of her "girls" proudly and then shook her head.

"Sometimes I say, 'Lawd, I sho' musta done somethin' right,'" she finally spoke, tightening her grip around their hands.

I looked at them all huddled there together and immediately felt like crying. . . . .

Instead I asked them if I could take a picture of their hands to remember them and this moment.

(Generational Blessings: Photo taken today and shared with permission of Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter)


This picture embodies everything that I love about working in this public hospital. I get the privilege of meeting people like this every day. Caring for an indigent patient population has its challenges, yes. But the moments like these far outweigh the frustrating ones. No question--we see poverty and we see some really unfortunate pathology as a result. . . . .oh, but the love we see. Money can't buy anything better.

Sometimes when I'm at Grady, I think the same thing as Mother:

I must've done something right.

I'm so glad I came to work today.



  1. Beautiful picture! I think the hand and eyes of a person can say so much. Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for your posts on my blog too. I'm very grateful.

  2. best picture ever- i would have cried too! thanks for sharing

  3. I recently started reading your blog since I have been on PICU night float for the past 5 weeks. Thank you for that beautiful story and picture. It made me smile even though I am exhausted and counting the hours until I can go home.

  4. You are so right about what is wonderful about working at Grady. There is pain and suffering, but also great beauty and strength. Your photo captured it.

  5. amazing. what a gift to be apart of such a moment. :)

  6. On my drive to school this morning, I thought of your blog and how it can be a choice to make it a good day. So I'm thinking those positive thoughts and doing just that!

  7. Gorgeous. Love seeing the hospital through your eyes. xo

  8. just awesome, such a testament to many of us and our love for our families. I'm learning to enjoy the rain because after the rain sunshine always comes.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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