I came to the hospital for I felt my guilt. From a radio talk show I knew that I could help people, who had been left by everybody. I at once thought: this is what I need. Every Sunday, I came to the hospital, changed my clothes and along with Sergei (he also worked in the hospital) helped ill people. I washed the floor in the wards (this is not a very nice work) and this brought me some relief.
There were also two young nurses, students of the medicine college by the hospital temple. They sometimes asked me to help them in feeding patients. I fed a helpless person and thought what was his guilt, as his relatives had left him.
Sometimes I turned over a man, who was in coma, sometimes I washed the floor and so on. An old man died, and the senior nurse, Vera, said me to include his first name into a funeral service list. She pointed at a list on the wall: that were first names of died patients.
I looked at the young girls who worked in the hospital and could not understand why they did it: the salary is too small, while the work is really heavy.
Once, I saw a man who had come to visit his wife. Both of them were old. She could not walk and moved only with a special device. As the man came, his wife started to cry, accusing him of all her misfortunes. He said nothing, listening to her hysteric accusations. She was accusing the whole world. I saw his eyes and understood that he still loved his wife.
I asked a nurse, her name was Tatiana, how could they stand all this: the old women crying, who must be grateful to them for taking away their bedpan. “I pray, and I always remember I am not perfect,” – she answered. “I cannot imagine myself living in another way and doing something else,” – she added. Tatiana worked really hard. Once I saw her in the temple, praying.
After work, we eat together in a special room for nurses. The food was simple, but substantial. We talked about different things. The window was opened, and we could hear music and people’s voices from the street. How strange it is, I thought. Outside, there is a normal life, people eat, talk to each other, smile, even laugh, and they do not think about the tragedy, developing near hear. While these happy people from the street could once also get to the hospital and feel as unhappy as our patients. My soul grew numb with this thought. I cannot now remember why the senior nurse, Vera started this conversation. “I did not wont to have an abortion, and if even one person, my husband, or his parents had supported me, I would not have killed my child. I should not have listened to anybody.”
I looked at her and did not know what to say. She called the reason why I had come to the hospital. Once my girlfriend also went to an abortion. I remember that day: I went to the church, and as I put out a candle and prayed to her health, my candle suddenly became curve. I had considered myself being an Orthodox. I had prayed, visited monasteries, made my communion! And yet I sent my girlfriend, my future wife to have an abortion.
Several years passed, and my pain became weaker, though I still feel sorry for what I have done.
My son from my first marriage has grown up, though he broke off our relations. And this is pitiful fur me. There cannot be too many beloved people. You can really love only that ones, into whom you have put your heart and soul. A.N. FOMA-centre
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://society.pravda.ru/society/2003/8/26/80/7048_sanitar.html
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