Saturday, July 19, 2008

Attack of the Holy Water Spritzer

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!


tina FCD said...

Is your mom religious?

If that were me, and Larry encountered this woman, all hell would break loose. Apparently she knew your mom wouldn't mind being spritzed?? But to ASSUME that you would, is downright rude as hell. Sorry, it just kind of upsets me that people assume another is religious. What if you had converted to another religion that would be offended at getting sprayed with this so-called holy water??
I hope your mom gets the help she needs. My mom is elderly also and suffers from depression, but refuses to take meds.

Andrea said...

I'm sorry to hear your mom isn't doing so well....hope she's feeling better soon.

Poodles said...

I too send well wishes for your mom, what a hard thing to have to deal with.

Sounds kind of like the perfume spritzers at Dillards... :)

Tommy said...

Thanks all.

Tina, my mom is sort of wishy-washy when it comes to religion. On an intellectual level, she knows its a bunch of nonsense, but she does not reject it out of hand. She is not formally religious though, and never reads a Bible, nor does she even own one to my knowledge. She does have some inspirational sayings on refrigerator magnets that make god references.

I tried to make a little bit of fun at times, because the neighbor gave my mom the holy water spritzer. So I would go in my mom's room a couple of times with the spritzer and say "Let me bless you."

Stardust said...

Tommy, I too am sorry to hear that your mom isn't doing very well. I hope she gets a bed soon and is cared for properly.

When I was in the hospital last summer with that whole ordeal I was approached by so many god botherers who said they were praying for me and the more they told me that, the worse crap that happened. Finally I told them "please, no're killing me!" Of course I was being sarcastic, but IS very rude, especially when people know we are atheists already. Those who don't know us are still unintentionally rude, but intentionally rude is inexcusable.

My husband would also have fun with the spritzer water bottle...he tells everyone that he is god and would have a field day with that with the guys he works with. LOL!

Seriously though, you and your family hang in there.

Tommy said...

Hey Star,

My mom was brought to the hospital yesterday. My wife, the kids, and I were staying with her at her place and she kept vomiting and sufffering from nausea, so we agreed that the dehydration and withdrawal symptoms at her age might be enough to have her admitted to the emergency room.

Tomorrow she is being discharged, so I have to take off from work again to pick her up. Then I have to figure out what is the best level of care for her.

bullet said...

Maybe the doctors at the public hospital suck. He works in Mysterious Ways(c), you know.


Andrea said...

Oh no, nausea is the worst feeling in the world (to me,'s just awful). Did you say if she was on any meds? Could it be a virus? I really hope she feels better quickly. Keep us updated if you can.