Love at MUSC – Finding Solace in the Wake of Suffering

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By Mark A. Leon

The Medical University of South Carolina is one of the most respected medical institutions in the South and throughout the United States. Known for its research, professional and caring staff and one of the top employers in Charleston, MUSC is a permanent fixture in downtown Charleston. Founded in 1824, MUSC provides the citizens of Charleston and surrounding areas with state of mind knowing healthcare and wellness are a foundation of Charleston.

With compassion and understanding, the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff provide patients with a warm and comforting setting as they deal with life threatening, changing and altering events. For some, it is preparation for the inevitable; for others, unknown illness and finally to others, the ability to touch others when they no longer have someone to love them. Creating a consoling environment to help alleviate pain 0is a mission of all members on staff.

In the center of campus, surrounded by buildings with patients suffering from Cancer, disease, tragedy and heartache, there lies an Urban Garden filled with beautiful colors, vegetables, plants and overall, an horticulturist dream. It is a majestic place where patients and staff come for peace and solitude.

With benches, wellness / stretching equipment and shady trees, it provides a haven and escape from the pressures of the healthcare environment.

Several weeks ago, at the entrance of the Urban Farm, two rocks appeared together. A sign of love had appeared. Each day and week, the rocks continued to remain. Even during evenings of wind or rain, when it would seem that the rocks could not sustain their place together, they still were close to each other on top of the entrance pillar in the morning. It appears there is solace in this daily ritual.

For two people, this is a symbol of their bond together. In the pinnacle of spiritual testing, when love is the strongest emotion prevalent, this is a beautiful symbol.

One warm evening, mid week, something changed.

The two rocks separated. One stood on one pillar, while the other laid alone on the top of the second entrance pillar. A division had occurred. What had happened?

  • Did they break up?
  • Did they move away from each other?
  • Did one of them die?

The thought that one person, so deeply in love, believed in the spirit of a higher power and reached to the heavens to ask for help is beyond words

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This unity of rocks, known for stability and eternal foundation and strength, could be the visual prayer needed for two people looking for sign. When the rocks appeared apart, the thought of death winning over came into play until one day later, the two rocks found their way back.

Each day, hundreds of individuals enter into the corridors of the medical facilities. Some stay a short while; some never leave and some find a new lease on life. Footsteps fade, tests conducted, comfort applied, but at the end, it is the love and prayers that provide the glue that keeps us all believing.

I don’t know where this spirited couple is, but I know if you walk through the courtyard to the Urban Farm, you will see two rocks close together. These rocks serve as a symbol of the power of love.

In the midst of blood and death, the idea of symbolic love at MUSC is refreshing and tranquil. It is also a reminder to each and every one of us to embrace love each and every day.

 

 

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