The Political Meaning of Christian Caregiving

Volume 40
Summer 2012
The Political Meaning of Christian Caregiving

The interview project concerns hospice caregivers—quiet exemplars tending to patients beyond the restorative limits of medical science. Today’s conversation happens in a Manhattan Beach bungalow. Local real estate is expensive, if less exorbitant than neighboring Venice (north) or Rancho Palos Verdes (south). This neighborhood overlooks the prototypical California dream—miles of impeccable beach, palm trees, and meteorological perfection. The exchange involves a registered nurse named Linda. 55 years old, she looks like a graying version of Tina Fey. The similarities run deep, including an East Coast childhood and impishly deadpan sense of humor. Linda is a devout Christian. She tells a compelling conversion story of redemption from alcohol. Thick glasses ride low on her nose. Coupled with a slight downward tilt of the head, Linda evokes a bemused novelist. Her voice is strong and accent characteristically Philadelphia. With candor she mentions that her mother recently died, leaving a considerable inheritance. Like many project interviews, the first segment is light and superficial. Things gradually slip into the coziness of fireside chat. The conversation subsequently makes a hard turn.

Dr. K.S. Reimer
127 - 130
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