Once again we find ourselves in the hospital ultimately due to my son’s epilepsy. There is a vortex that swallows you whole once you get there- time has no meaning and each moment blends into the next one. The doctors come and go and explain the situation, they are the professionals, they are the ones who will fix things, perhaps.
What I really want to talk about is the kindness of the people who don’t realize how healing their words and gestures are. Namely the cleaning lady, Nancy (my mother’s name, and this is not lost on me) and the young man who delivers the food trays, Michael (an Archangel in disguise!). Each day when they enter my son’s room they smile and ask him how’s feeling with genuine concern. It is not a question posed for medical evaluation; it is a kindness of concern. Nancy speaks to me in the hallway with encouraging words, her eyes have the sweet light of God in them, it is the same with Michael who sneaks me food, because he is afraid I am not eating. And then there is the lady from Ireland, Mary (aptly named) who I have never met in the flesh only through my blog who sends me and my son words of encouragement and humor. And there are others too numerous to name who have touched us. Why should these people care about us? The answer is, they don’t have to, it isn’t their job to make sure my son is feeling better or that I am eating in my anxiety ridden state or that we have smiled through our tears. It is a choice they have made. When I told Michael his kindness has not gone unnoticed, he just smiled and shyly nodded.
My work in hospice I am often the one offering comfort and support, yes it is part of the job, but I work from my heart because I love my work, it is God’s work. To receive this kindness back is a beautiful thing and I am learning to be on the receiving end. We all need to take care of each other, we are all God’s children, His love we show by caring for each other. Being kind, choosing to be kind costs us nothing, and often we don’t see the effects of our choices, but I am here to say a difficult situation has gotten a little brighter. My son’s bones will mend, but his heart will mend all the better because of the kindness of strangers.