Semper Fi

I was still  fired up from the last one, a thirty year old female unconscious, intoxicated, overdosed on tylenol and surrounded by belligerent family members. When one of them, a twenty something shirtless tattooed tough guy refused to get out of the way I had to give him a “little” nudge. The time to show you are a man is not when your aunt is dying in front of you. If you want to be a tough guy, join the Marines, fight for your country, learn to speak English and take care of your family. And get the hell out of the way if you can’t.

I have no problem with Spanish speaking people as long as they try to learn English. I’m not looking for much, but if I can learn some basic Spanish, people who live here should be able to figure out I am asking their name and date of birth. It is for their own benefit anyway.

An hour later I found myself in a different home, a Hispanic couple in their early sixties. The woman, Beverly, is a dialysis patient whose shunt was bleeding. She also had diabetes, fluid in her lungs, chest pain, nausea and vomiting. I knelt in front of her wheelchair, noticed one leg was missing and that the bleeding from her shunt had been controlled. She was nicely dressed in clean clothes, bandages fresh, house relatively clean and orderly.

I asked how she was feeling, in her limited English she told me she was in great pain, cold and basically miserable. Her and her husband then communicated in their first language, Spanish. When they were done he asked me if I could take them to the VA, as all of her medical records were there.

After we were through with the necessary tests and treatment I had a chance to talk a little to them. They have been married for thirty-three years, she started “going downhill” three years ago, he’s been taking care of her since then. She is Dominican, He Peurto Rican. They met while he served in the Marine Corp.

Funny how quickly you forget about annoying little people when in the presence of great ones.



  • Capt. Schmoe says:

    It's obvious one family walked the walk, not talked the talk.Thanks for the post, a good way to start the day.

  • Dani says:

    That is very true, it really is amazing how all the annoyances go away with just one great patient. Thanks for the post, I needed to read it!

  • Gia's Spot says:

    Once again, thanks for making my "little annoyances" go away! You have become my daily "inspritional read!" (sorry if I am gushy, had a real bad night at work…know you get it! )

  • Grandma Muggle says:

    Hi Michael. Sometimes you run into some persons who make you feel better about life. Evidently you ran into two on that run. I am glad. The ones we meet who make an effort and try to be polite and courteous and to learn elevate the perception of whatever nationality they represent.I once met a lady who was Hispanic while I was watching my grandchildren play at Roger Williams Park. We were sitting next to each other on a bench when she spoke to me. I learned from her limited English that she too was a grandmother and she pointed to two adorable kids playing near my grandkids.We managed to figure out between the two of us that we both like flowers, love children, and that neither of us is particularly fond of hot weather.I complimented her on her English and she explained that she was "trying but it is…….." She could not think of the word she wanted so she picked up a stone and patted it with a frown on her face tried to make me understand. I finally got it. The word was HARD! We smiled a lot and she said "Good bye" to me and I said "Via con Dios" to her.She impressed me so much that I took the stone home with me an put it into the dirt in one of my house plants. Now whenever I water my plants I think of that one very special lady who "trys hard" to adapt and to be friendly. I wish you many stones in your life Michael. They sure do made a difference!Love yah, Pat.

  • Anonymous says:

    OOrah!from a USMC sergeant's ma(also B's mom)

  • Walt Trachim says:

    Semper Fi, indeed. He has been taking care of her? In my mind, that's what honor, courage, and commitment are all about.Thanks for this post, Michael.

  • Medic2RN says:

    Kinda nice when the "cool" patients outweigh the "un-cool" ones. Isn't it?Stay Safe,Medic2RN

  • Jean says:

    Accounts like that help to maintain hope in humanity. Hoo-Rah!

  • Ted says:

    Bravo Zulu Mike! Another great post.The best writing is about one particular thing, but also about EVERYTHING."The Old Man and the Sea" was about catching a fish, true, but it was about so much more.That's what your writing is like.Anyone can tell a war story, but few can make those stories ABOUT something, you know?Great job, as usual.Semper Fi,TedUSMC 1990 – 19980341/8654

  • Michael Morse says:

    Again, I'm extremely grateful for the comments, I love writing these things, even better that people enjoy them.Grandma Muggle, I can actually see you sitting in the park, great comment.Ted, I've never met a Marine I didn't like. Thank you.

  • Susie Hemingway says:

    Ahh what a very nice post…he loved her so he did his best…it's what it's all about..gentle, kind, caring humanity, without it where would we be?

  • Billie Kernes says:

    Michael Morse, I just happened upon your post this morning and I'm so glad I did.  I enjoyed reading this particular story very much.  It reminded me of my Aunt and Uncle.  My Uncle had been very sick, frail, bad health from a stroke.  Both my Aunt and Uncle were about 80 and living with my mom.  One time when we called for an ambulance and emergency service he was taken to the hospital.  Once he was in the emergency room and I was standing there with my aunt I heard one of the EMT's say to the other "let's get out of here and let dispatch know we're ready for another pickup."  My heart sank. I thought how cold for them to say that in front of my Aunt of all people.  The next time my Uncle was transported to the ER we were standing in the ER and this time the EMT was getting ready to leave and he came up to my Aunt and put his hand on her shoulder and said "i'm sure your husband will be okay".  To my Aunt being 80 years old and being scared because her husband was in the ER, that meant the world to her.  So Michael, you remind me of the kind, caring type……….

  • Walt Trachim says:

    It's Marines like this man who make the rest of us look good.
    Missed you, my friend. I have 6 weeks until the academic madness starts again….

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