Speaking to you from the airport in Frankfurt, more than 24 hours after my trip home from Russia began. We took off from St. Petersburg only to turn around for a man with a heart attack. I fear his outcome was not good, since they stopped the CPR. It was a strange experience to sit quite close to where they were working on him with CPR, thank goodness there was a doctor on the flight. I always think about volunteering in case there isn't a doctor available. Memo to everyone: refresh your CPR skills. This could be you.
I have seen many people die in my presence, which is not so common outside a war zone. Except for my grandmother they have all been children. It is an opportunity for prayer, urgent energy, and reflection on the meaning of life and death. What is it which animates this human flesh?
And I think there is something more, beyond what we know here. As a Christian I have certain beliefs about the afterlife, but here is an idea for everyone: There is conservation of matter, conservation of energy, why wouldn't there be conservation of the life force?
Realizing how precious life is, keeps me from quitting time after time. [See below post for me deciding I've had enough, yet again.] NZexpat has such a good quote about pushing back against the forces of darkness:
"I hope the miracles of what you are doing can filter through the curtain of obtuseness, obstruction, and ignorant power."
---------NZexpat of firedoglake
This is deeply healing for me. What are we fighting? Stupidity, selfishness, refusal to see beyond one's own world...yet I am also sympathetic to those things. Every day it is a struggle to think beyond my own mental illness.
To reach out and help other people in an unusual way makes as much sense as hiding at home under a blanket---very appealing many days, especially during my seasonal winter depression. So if it's hard to get thru a normal day, and only a little bit harder to work at a children's hospital in Russia, why not go for it?