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                    Who Are You? Planned Escape from Abuse
                                                 ‘Do one thing every day that scares you,’ Eleanor Roosevelt


          His house was an older home with six steps up to his front porch. There was no hand railing and the wooden steps were wobbly. I made a mental note of this. It may be a problem if he’s walking with a cane or a walker. I rang the doorbell and glanced at my wristwatch. It was 12:15 PM, which meant I was five minutes early. This patient had specifically asked for an appointment at 12:20 PM to conduct a health assessment for his insurance claim for his home care. I wonder why he scheduled this appointment for such an unusual time. I hope that he’ll be able to reach his home care goals following my assessment…
            I was standing in front of my patient’s front door as I saw my reflection in the window: a fifty-eight year old full-figured woman, neatly dressed, with honey-colored hair and a few gray strands, perky blue eyes peering over a pair of fashionable gold sunglasses and a pair of reading glasses laying on her shoulder-length hair.
           “Who are you?” asked the very old man, holding his front door open, as he pointed welcomingly to the living room. His white pants and shirt hung loose on his ivory-colored body, as they previously fit a heavier frame; his face was wrinkled, his tall body was thin and his hair was snow white. I studied this blue-eyed gentleman closer, searching for clues that may identify him. I entered the room and promptly sat down in one of the green chairs. Why does he look familiar? I wondered.

             The elderly man smiled warmly as he sat opposite me in his worn golden chair. In one gentle movement, he reached for my left hand, pressing it firmly into his, before leaning back into his chair. His touch, while calming, had me anxiously tremble like a new green leaf blowing in the spring breeze. There’s something about this man… Why do I feel so nervous? In an attempt to calm my nerves, I bent over to reach for my work badge from my purse as I introduced myself. “My name is Kate Morgan. I’m a registered nurse hired to evaluate your health.”

              I gave him my work badge as he nodded. “Yes, you’re hired by my insurance company.”
              He promptly returned my badge and I put it back into my purse.           
              “Do I know you?” I asked, quizzingly.

              “Who are you?” he asked again in his angelic voice, ignoring my question.
               I studied his face intensely. “I know you from some place – let me figure this out. Maybe my previous appointments would give me a clue. I know that I met you prior to this appointment,” I replied as I pulled out my scheduler from my workbag. I quickly paged through my appointment book, as I felt a sweat bead roll down my back. My curiosity grew. “What do you want to know? My past education? Job experiences?” Why doesn’t he understand that I’m the nurse who phoned about doing his healthcare assessment? Maybe some form of dementia… What doesn’t he understand?

             “I know your past has been difficult. You started off as a poor farmer’s daughter who worked hard to become a successful registered nurse. You work currently at the nursing agency and as a nursing instructor at the local community college. And yet you feel like you haven’t fulfilled your purpose in life. Is this correct?” he asked.
             “Yes,” I answered, in a slightly trembling voice. I bit my lower lip, dumbfounded. “How do you know me?”
             I looked at his bright sunny smile as he probed for the third time. “Who are you?”
             Suddenly, I knew my answer and spoke in an unfamiliar, confident voice, “My name is Kate Louise Morgan and I’m proud to say that I traveled through a sensational life to arrive at this very moment.” Where in the world did those words come from? He’ll be happy with that answer! Now I can start asking him questions about his evaluation, such as his age…
            Interrupting my thoughts, I heard him ask, “Please, tell me more… I’m waiting…”
            It became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to ask his healthcare assessment questions yet, so I began sharing my life story with him as he leaned back further into his chair, closing his eyes. When I finished, he opened his eyes and sat quietly with his hands folded in a prayer formation.
            Suddenly, I recognized him. He was my precious angel, Michael. I heard him say, “Young lady, you’re going to write your story about solving your life’s difficulties. You’ll write many books.”
            His words haunt me today as I begin to write about how my life changed on that fateful day…

 Copyrighted by Anne M. Logan