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Cavanaugh: Modern medicine, timeless miracles
Thoughts of a Baby Boomer
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The truth of the matter is that most of us have a great deal to be thankful for all the discoveries that have made modern medicine a pure miracle.

If we hadn't lived in this age many of us based on our past family history might not still be here on this great Earth of ours.

I used to fear death until I had the opportunity to work with a hospice a few years ago in Arizona. In my two years with the program I saw and experienced things that made any fear or concern that I might have go away.

I spent countless hours with people who were for all purposes on their way back home. I found out that it is not true that all people face their final hours seeking forgiveness or in peace.

They taught us in hospice that you can't change how a person is going to spend their last hours on this earth and that if a person had a mean spirit as a youth they were going to have a mean spirit as they grew and generally they weren't going to change as they faced death.

I will never forget the time that we had a year old baby in the hospice house. The family was around the baby 24 hours a day and the child lasted. Someone had contacted the child's grandfather who lived in Mexico. In a few days a dusty, wrinkled, mud caked older man appeared. He knew no English but we surmised who he was there to see the baby. He walked in the room, picked up the baby said something I didn't understand and the baby died in his arms. The baby who had been grey and contorted with pain had the look of a glowing angel.

I have talked to people who went back in their lives and described a happy time and place and did so vividly that you felt you were there yourself.

I have held people's hand as their eyes would brighten and they would tell me that one relative or another was in the room with us. I never saw anyone; they did.

One time we had an elderly gentleman who was in a coma who was quite disturbed. He kept moving his hand up his blanket in a peculiar way. One of my volunteers who was not a Catholic told me that it looked like he was trying to say a rosary. We put a rosary in his hand he calmed down immediately and soon he left us.

These are just a few of the stories that touched my life. We are fortunate as baby boomers to live in this age. For sure things aren't perfect and from time to time we feel sorry for ourselves but in the long run it's great to be alive and full of energy in this age of modern medical miracles from God that we and He have created.