I don't think I've told you about Jeff. He's the security guard who works at the front desk at Med Towers 2. I've been friendly with him for years. A couple of weeks ago at Boulevard he alluded to an incident in the ER that was hairy - some psych patient he had to help subdue. So I started thinking, if I go to his desk and share stories with him he will share some with me and I'll get some juicy gossip.
Well I did just that and we started talking about psych and I mentioned my experience at the child and adolescent ward at Turning Point back in the day when I was taking pre-med classes at UALR and he exclaimed I knew you were familiar! I know you from somewhere. When were you there? I told him I was there in 1994 and he said he was security at ACH at that time. It blew me away I recognize his voice but not his face. We reminisced about Joe and Penny and Randy and all the nurses and techs it was a wonderful trip down memory lane. We shared gossip from back in the day. He told me that one of ours, we both cannot remember the name, he was from Africa (amazing accent) and he was well respected by the patients. He was killed by a patient. Head slammed into a desk. I kind of started crying I really respected him.
I asked if he knew about the teen gunshot wound in the flank he did not but he knew about another teen gunshot wound last week in the leg. He was so mad because he told the mom to get a police report and not to allow any family members to show up because of Covid. Well guess what an hour later the ER entrance was gummed up with cars of family members coming to see him. Tommy in mycology told me that at UAMS (his son works there) they put the whole hospital on lockdown if there is a gang shooting in fear of retaliation. I was wondering why, as I have left the hospital the past few days, there were so many cars in the ER.
Jeff and I were talking about the resurgence in gangs - it was heavy back in 1994 (there was an HBO special). He said that the Latino gangs are more organized - they move drugs and make money - but the gangs behind the hospital just do drugs and shoot guns it's a mess. I told him about the young teen patient back then that was proudly a queen in the gang because she was pregnant as a result of being sexed in (gang raped). It really woke me up to what a privileged life I have.
He lost a daughter at 29 - he showed me pictures yesterday - to lupus. I had a former nanny with that disease it can be brutal. She was a gymnast - he and his wife took her all over the country to competitions. She once danced with Paula Abdul. Losing a child. I cannot imagine. I shared about the funeral I attended of my friend Carmen from Sunday school. I saw a meme recently, about grief, that I shared with him. Grief doesn't shrink over time. We grow around it.
He's a fisherman, and I hope to benefit from that in the near future. He gave a cousin and a friend a bounty of catfish for a fish fry last weekend. The friend recipient was from Chicago and was so grateful he gave Jeff a bass boat. Jeff and I were problem solving how to get it from Chicago to Little Rock yesterday. Hire someone, I said, and he agreed. Happy Saturday, much love, Elizabeth