Monday, 22 February 2021

Ruth Corker Burks

 https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/short-cuts/acts-of-love-YHscwjqeVlO/

This link is a small gift 
I’m sorry that many of you may not be able to access it, given where you are in the world. But for the ones that can....it is a little gem of a broadcast.
Start your listen at 18.43 minutes in.
You want to listen to the story of a single mom in 1980s mid America
It is the height of the aids pandemic and Ruth Corker Burks finds Jimmy a patient dying of AIDS in a local hospital. 
He is fast approaching death and is shunned by his family and the nursing staff. 
Only she in a wonderfully moving act of compassion enters his room and his last moments of life.

I listened to this podcast on the way to work last night and had to stop the car for a few moments to process the power of it..

Please give it a go and tell me what you think

39 comments:

  1. Thank you,John. That was so moving. Thank God there are loving, compassionate people in the world who see the person, not the disease. The AIDS pandemic was so cruel on so many levels. xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't access it, sorry

    ReplyDelete
  3. Overwhelmed. The world needs more people such as this. What a wonderful generous soul. How very fortunate were those young men to have Ruth there to attend to their final needs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks John. I listened to it, it's something I'll listen to more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous10:00 am

    Thankyou John. I listen to Shortcuts as a podcast but hadn't heard this one. It left me with goosebumps and so moved. I shall listen to it again and again.

    For others who can't follow the link try searching for Shortcuts Podcast, or see if you can use BBC Sounds app as it is a BBC radio programme as well as a podcast.

    ReplyDelete
  6. thank you, Jan

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, I heard this the other day. It brought tears to my eyes. I don't think that Jimmy was mistaken when he thought that his mother really had visited him. She really did just turn into his mother when he needed her most.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, What a marvelous person. Something for all of us to aspire too. We don't need to do big grand gestures-just everyday little things count so much. I am checking for the book at my local library or will go buy it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can't access it for some reason John but just after I came to live up here a young man in our village died of AIDS. I have never forgotten it as he died shortly after his mother.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, I have seen a television interview with Ruth. Lots of deep thoughts, there are still people abandoned by their families, because of who they are. There are caring people in caring professions, who let down the professional veil and become like family.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The power of selfless love. So enormous--especially if you remember those days--the fear, the wretchedness of abandonment. An incredible woman sharing a priceless gift. I can see why you needed to pull over to the side of the road, John.

    A poignant reminder of the terrible price paid if we lose our humanity as individuals or as a society.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Teary eyed listening to her. What a woman. x

    ReplyDelete
  13. That had me in tears, so moving. Thank you x

    ReplyDelete
  14. I posted about this brave and lovely woman on my blog; and I read that there is a movie being made of her story. I hope that's true.

    https://ishouldbelaughing.blogspot.com/2016/05/ruth-burks-is-name-you-should-know.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. OK....now I am able to respond in a more coherent fashion.
    This brought me back to that time where and when being gay labelled you many things.....a 'carrier' being one. It was threatening to say the least.
    This act of love, compassion and kindness by Ms. Burks was exceptional. Her bravery and strength is in stark contrast how most everybody jumped on the bandwagon of being fearful and hateful of gays.
    I remember at that time I was a fitness instructor at the local YMCA. Ron, my husband, and I took a vacation to Venezuela. When we got home we learned that we picked up a tropical parasite. It hit me more than it did Ron. I lost a ton of weight in a short time but I felt better eventually. People in my fitness classes started a rumour that I had AIDS. And I noticed I was being ignored/shunned by some.
    Goes to show you how fear can take over and lead to such misleading conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jimbo this must have made your memories very real

      Delete
  16. We throw around the word "angel" a lot but sometimes, it is truly the only word to describe someone.
    Incredibly moving.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the link. We are lucky to have people like her in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed , her matter of factness made her even more a hero

      Delete
  18. That touched my heart, John. That woman was special. I have reserved her book at my library so I can read more about her. Thanks for bringing her to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Barbara Anne4:00 pm

    Amazing and so heartbreaking to listen to and I, too, am glad she was gladly willing to open her heart and life to those young men in need. The world is a better place thanks to people like Ms. Burks. Ta, John.
    Ellen D., thanks for mentioning the book. I'll see if my library has it.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think that the Nursing staff who were meant to care for Jimmy should have been invited to attend a meeting to discuss any concerns and for it to be addressed.Though Ruth Corker Burks did not give birth to Jimmy I believe the Universe would embrace them both as mother and son xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. John, if you search YouTube for Ruth there are many videos and tributes.
    In this one she talks about Jimmy: https://youtu.be/Y74-VKuOZCI

    ReplyDelete
  22. People like Ruth make the world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
  23. reading the book. Amazing woman

    ReplyDelete
  24. So moving. The hardhearted cruelty displayed by some people seems impossible, and yet it's part of human history that can't be ignored whether it's in individual acts or those of the masses. Thank goodness there are far more kind, decent people than otherwise. -Kate

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've seen her interviewed here in the US and I appreciate that the media doesn't hide her. She is a bright light among us.
    Bonnie in Minneapolis

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow!!! So moving, bought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. What an amazing women with such a big heart. The world is lucky to have angels like her.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous3:46 am

    Brilliant, thank you. The world definitely needs more people like Ruth. Margaret in Australia

    ReplyDelete
  28. There is a brilliant interview between Nihal Arthanayake and Ruth Coker Burks on BBC Sounds in the Headliners series, it was recorded on 3 February 2021. So heartening to listen to someone who represents the best of us, particularly at this time.

    ReplyDelete

I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes