Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
The palliative care unit at the Foothills Hospital is not what you might expect. It is as much about living as it is about dying.
Few of us consider how best to live the rest of our lives. But this question is part of the fabric of Unit 47. It intensely, personally, and completely about the wishes of the patient.
It was Alison, one of the palliative docs, who brought this question sharply into focus for Pat. We were discussing what was most important to her for the remainder of her life. Pat's response was quality of life. “And what is quality of life to you, Pat?” “Well, I have a lot of writing I want to finish. I have this article I'm working on for Harvard Review, and I have some other pieces I'm working on.”
If you have ever worn glasses, you will remember that moment, as a child, you carefully put on your first pair of spectacles and the blurry world became focused. So this is what the world looks like! So too with Pat's answer. We understood the yardstick against which decisions could be measured. Will this make writing easier, or harder? Will this take energy, or conserve energy?
It has become the focus for all of us now. Four hours in the morning have been set aside for writing. And with the ferocious intensity that is both Pat and part of all good writers, it has become her space, her time, when there is nothing but life. The Harvard article has been submitted. And tales yet to be told are taking shape.
To catch a falling star is to capture a dream. And Unit 47 was the first to spread the net across the galaxy of Pat's dreams. A star is now safely tucked into Pat's pocket and with each written word, will never fade away.