Vol.XIV No.IV Pg.8
June 1977

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Robert Burns wrote (but in his own style), "Oh would the God's the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us. It would from many a blunder free us, and foolish notion." That might work for some; but it would make others so self-conscious they might never speak another word, and that would be a sad day indeed.

Have you ever listened — really listened, to the conversation in a hospital room when "polite" visitors drop in to cheer up a patient? What if scattered "quotes" from different visits, were rolled into one?

"We figured you must be sick when we seen your fence was down and your cows was scattered down the highway."

"If you hadn'ta come, I sure woulda wished you woulda come."

"Where do you hurt the worst?" "Well, I reckon mostly all over." "I always say the worst thing about being sick is usually you feel so bad."

"If I was you I sure would be sick of all of whatever you've got."

"It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't that I just don't like this kind of feeling."

"One thing for sure; if you ever got well you sure will feel better." "Lord, bless all of them that are sick of this man's family." And, " if he's got to go, give him a peaceful passing.'

"We just want you to know that if you don't get well, don't worry about nothing. Me and Jake's going to buy your place and farm it."

"Whenever I get lonesome in this here bed, I want you to know you have give me a lot to think on."

Now it is possible that some of my readers will not understand this; and some may feel sorry for the patient. Don't. After one such (or kinds such) conversation, a grizzly old patient warmly shook my hand, told me of his recent visitors, and concluded, "Made me feel so good to know they thank of me." Little attention had been given to the inept, inane words of embarrassed men, unaccustomed to social niceties. Much attention is given to thoughtful friends, who mean well.