There are many ways to give comfort.

The most comforting words I’ve heard in a long time are, “I will be right there with you for all my remaining days.” That was what President Obama promised in his farewell speech. Politics aside (and how I’d like to put them aside!), the promise that someone will be beside us brings such comfort and sense of peace because it fills a basic human need: not to be alone in times of trouble.

My husband Bill is a doctor. One day I was waiting for him to finish up with his patients so we could go to lunch, wishing he would hurry, I had things to do, etc., etc.   His private study was next to one of the exam rooms and I could overhear him telling a male patient that he needed a rather serious operation, one performed by a surgeon specialist. I could hear the man crying and then Bill told him, “I’ll be there with you and see you through this.” This was true. Bill would assist in the surgery and afterwards continue to be his doctor. The man calmed down and they began to discuss the details. My first thought  was “Wow!” All I needed was to hurry up and get some lunch. The guy on the other side of the door had an uncertain future but he felt better because he wasn’t going to be alone.

As I write this, Bill and I are on our sixth Jazz Cruise (hang in—there’s a point coming soon) and like most cruises, many of the passengers are elderly. We’ve watched them for six years and there are more canes, walkers and wheelchairs every time. This is sad, but the comforting aspect is that everyone has someone with them to help—a spouse, a friend or even strangers like us.  As we bump along in these uncertain times, remember that we are all in this together, right beside each other for all our days.




About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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