What Day Is Today?

What Day Is Today?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith

What Day Is Today?

Better to lose count while naming your blessings
than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.

~Maltbie D. Babcock

Sid taught the staff and patients alike that there’s room for life and laughter in a hospice. This wonderful man tried hard to cope with a paralysis that left him highly dependent on his family and the nurses. Though this irritated him immensely, he was a born actor with a wonderful sense of theater. Sid knew exactly how to act out his sense of injustice in the face of his terminal illness. Often he played to the gallery—in this case, the three other patients who shared the same room. His roommates tolerated Sid, although “here-he-goes-again” was a much-used refrain.

But Sid was also very religious. One morning, I was giving out the medication in his room when he hoisted himself onto his elbows, looked soulfully across the room and muttered weakly (but loud enough for all to hear), “What day is it today?”

I answered truthfully, “Palm Sunday.”

Staring up at the ceiling, Sid blurted dramatically, “Then today is a good day to die.” With this he fell back on the bed in such a dramatic fashion, I wondered if he would actually do it then and there! But a few seconds later, he popped opened his eyes, looked at me and sighed.

Later that same week, when I was back in Sid’s room, he decided to give a repeat performance. Lifting himself onto his elbows again, he asked, “What day is it today?”

Again telling the truth, I said, “It’s Good Friday.”

Without looking up from his book, his roommate muttered loudly, “I hope to God he doesn’t die today—he might rise again on Sunday!”

~Dennis Sibley as told to Allen Klein

Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul

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