I am spending a few wonderful weeks visiting my cousin Kathy B. She is a wonderfully talented writer and poet and I feel privileged that she is my cousin. As I’ve said before, she writes with her heart. She has some very special experiences in life and, as in this piece of personal writing, she has a desire to to share the special things she learns along her unique journey:
Recently, I spent six weeks in a nursing home after a major surgery. I was afraid to return there because I spent six months at the same facility five years ago, and it was not always a pleasant experience. It caused bad, hurtful memories. However, in the last few years, I have made it a personal goal to face my fears head on; Joyce Meyers says, “do it afraid.” In other words, the only way to overcome fears is to conquer them by doing them anyway. This was my chosen profession, the age group that I wanted to work with after I finish my degree. I also decided to change my attitude about the experience. After all, it would be a great test to see if I was truly cut out for this type of work.
I was surprised that a number of the staff recalled me quite fondly; this had a way of putting me at ease a bit. As before, there were a number of sensory/social activities to engage both the body and mind such as: balloon ball, exercise group, book club, Bingo etc. After one such activity, I came across Joann while on the way to my back to my room. I immediately was struck by her look of sheer loneliness, abject terror and utter confusion. It touched me to the core of my being. I began to talk to her. I said a silent prayer that my words would bring her love and comfort. I assured her that God was with her and that she could talk to Him whenever she was afraid. God was her friend. I let her know that she was also special to me too – that I loved her and that she would be in my prayers. The last things I said to her is that I would talk to her again.
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to fulfill that promise. The Lord took her home with Him only a few nights later. I felt guilty that I hadn’t gone to her room to visit her again. At the same time, I hoped that my words had brought her some measure of comfort in her last hours. An old lesson from youth group came to mind. Our words and deeds are like ripples in a pond; one never really knows what help or harm that they do. Try never to miss the opportunity to share God’s love when it presents itself.