Sadly, my Mom has taken a turn for the worse lately, after having been active and independent for the last few months. She is suffering from anxiety and depression and has been abusing her supply of anti-anxiety and sleeping pills.
My brother Bobby and I resolved to bring her to a hospital with a detox facility and Nassau County Medical Center told my brother over the phone that they had beds available.
When my brother and I were standing outside of her apartment at the senior facility where she lives, one of her neighbors came outside and was walking to her car nearby. She told us she wanted to "bless" my Mom before she left for the hospital.
I had encountered this neighbor before at my father's funeral a couple of years ago. She is loud, short, talkative and very religious Greek Orthodox woman in her Eighties. At one point when I was standing near my dad's casket, she came up to me and kept telling me to "trust in the lord." As much as I wanted to chew her out, I knew she meant well, so I kept my annoyance and my status as an atheist to myself.
But when my Mom came outside to get in the car, the Greek Orthodox woman approached her, telling my Mom that she was going to bless her. And with that, the lady whipped out a pink colored water spritzer and started spritzing what was presumably "holy water" on my mom's chest while doing the sign of the cross. She then called Bobby and I over to "bless" us as well. Bobby obliged her, but I walked away shaking my head and laughing. "How absurd!" I thought. She called to me again, but Bobby told her, "Tommy's an atheist. He doesn't want to get blessed" or something like that. The lady ended up giving my mom the water spritzer and telling how when she was in the hospital, she "blessed" the doctor, the nurses and all the other hospital staff that were involved in whatever procedure she had done there.
With that, we all got in my car and drove off to the hospital.
So, just how effective was Greek Orthodox lady's holy water?
Well, after filling out the forms, meeting with the triage nurse, and then some other hospital employee, all of which took some two hours or more of our time, we were called for a third time for what we assumed was the last meeting before Mom was assigned to her bed. Instead, the man who called us informed us that the last available bed was taken a short while earlier. He explained to us that because the hospital was a public hospital, they had to assign the beds on a first-come first-serve basis.
In other words, the whole affair was an absolute waste of time. So now we have to wait and see if one of our other options, a private facility, will have a bed available for her on Monday morning.
Way to go Greek Orthodox holy water!