Tuesday, August 7, 2007

July Prompt 002: Refuge Quote/Artistic License

Depression was something the doctors and nurses working in the displaced person's camps saw in almost every patient they treated.  It didn't matter how young or how old they were, it didn't matter how mild or how serious their injuries, the depression seemed to be a constant.  How could it not be when almost every one of their patients had lost everything before coming to them? Knowing about the illness was one thing, treating it something entirely different, and worse yet was coming to terms with the loss of a patient who they should have saved but for their giving in to it.

As their patients conditions improved enough that they were moved out of the medical tents and into those that would house them until they left the camp, they often found it lifting for many of the women.   As they fell back into the more normal routine of taking care of their children and other family members, of setting up households it was easier for them to set aside the circumstances that brought them to the camps  If only the men had similar reasons to get through the day, unfortunately they didn't, and already suffering the losses of family members as well as jobs and careers,they now found themselves unable to even provide the basic necessities for their own survival.  Despite the reasons that brought them to the camps in their minds they were failures, that they would be sucked into the the blackness of depression was inevitable.

Even now, as she entered the men's tent Dr. Forquet could feel the heaviness in the air. There was none of the music or laughter found in the family tents, none of the personal touches that showed that those here were trying to move forward. It would be easy of course to dismiss the staleness in the air to the smoke from their cigarettes, but it was more then that, the closed flaps and tent sides spoke to yet more reasons. There was no light here, no brightness, no life.  No, those here had already begun to give up on not just themselves but whatever the future might hold for them and she had to find a way to change that. A soft cry from the basket in her arms reminded her why she was here and she moved to the closest of the cots.

"Luka...are you awake?" She was already drawing the attention of those around the man she was trying to rouse and she took a seat across from his cot, setting the basket on her lap as she waited for him.  He was one of the younger ones, one of those she was most afraid of losing because he had lost so much and had already given up on any hope for a future.

"Their mother was killed, I'll see you get everything they need, and they'll need to be fed around the clock."  She was already lifting the tiny kittens from the basket as she spoke, passing them off to waiting hands as each was freed of the towel that had hidden them from view.

"Luka, please, will you take one?" She held the smallest of the litter toward him, letting it's cries do what she and none of the other's had so far been unable to do.

"Please?" A smile made it's way onto her face as he nodded and finally accepted the tiny kitten.  Small steps...but, a start toward healing, toward living, for both of them

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