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The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by CentralAB on Dec 25, 2019 5:10 pm

The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

I cannot describe now what it means to get a kiss like the one I got this "Christmas." 

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Today is my Christmas, because of that kiss. It wasn't just a kiss. That one kiss has showered me with many blessings which I will take with me everywhere.

I first heard the voice in a hospital. In the quiet whisper. In whispered prayer? I think I hear it when others do not?

I have never liked hospitals. I have spent half of my life in hospitals. I gave up asking myself why because I cannot prove it. I do not know how to prove I do not like hospitals.

The first question could be: "David, what have you done in hospitals that made you spend half of your life in them?"

Well; I spent a lot of that time not liking hospitals.

The first time I went into a hospital of my own volition was as a volunteer. My job then was to pass out supper trays to the patients on a cancer ward. That first hospital was an older, run-down building made nice on the surface. Several major renovations made a huge difference.

That first time was not the last time. It was the beginning of a faint, yet distinct whisper.

I heard it with my own ears. Each time that still small voice says something very profound. Always the same thing. Always profound. I grew to look forward to that faint whisper; and kept coming back to the hospital to hear it again. Was I called by God?

One night the whisper was a huge, loud, very rude bang. At first I thought I had a fight on my hands. I had no idea where all the flying food was coming from. A patient had lost his temper and thrown his food tray at me. The guardian angel attending the scene must have shifted into over-drive for that one! I wasnt hurt, neither was the patient. That was the first time the whispering voice spoke with such certitude and vigor. The "whispering" voice was becoming more of a direction that I could follow. Something to expect. Something to draw me back to the hospital I didnt like.

I can only describe it by saying that I could relate to that patient who threw his food tray. I had no formal training to notify me of the psychological forces at work here. There were no great insights; except for the message that I was there "for a reason." It had nothing to do with passing out the food trays. It was such a soft, quiet voice; yet it seemed to penetrate right through everything. Everywhere I go, "I am there for a reason." It did not appear, but in the form of a whisper.

I kept coming back to hear more.

I wanted to hear it again.

The nurses on the cancer ward had noticed how I responded to the flying food. Several of them remarked that they thought I had great potential for nursing. I remember feeling surprised, shocked, to hear people talking like that about me. I was more accustomed to struggling alone, and wondering what my purpose was. Can you remember a similar time in your life? Could it be that you have heard the whispering voice, and the message you needed to hear?

The calling of the whispering voice I kept coming back for had answered my question about my destiny. I am proud to say that it led me to a gratifying career in nursing for over twenty years. I still do not like hospitals. I still find ways and reasons to keep going back. I want to hear the message one more time.

It hurts to say it. The love of my life has been fighting cancer off and on for some time now. Unfortunately, she does not have a lot of time left, we don’t know exactly how long, but the doctor told me its not long. My wife grows weaker. We both feel that we have the strongest relationship that either of us ever knew is possible. She keeps saying: “God saved the best for the last.” We have a strong connection that we have never known before; and we talk about everything with each other. Now, because of cancer; I still keep going to the hospital. I know now that I will hear the same voice again, whispering in the background with the message that by now is familiar.

It was a cold, stormy night. Blizzards and ice made travel very risky on that cold winter night. But I was going to the hospital that I still do not like, to hear it once more. I was watching the straw , to see if any water was going to come up through. I was not too sure if she would be able to manage getting it up in the straw to get a good drink of it. She worked very hard for a minute. A long minute.  Several times the water got about half way up, and then fell back down into the cup. Finally, she did manage to get a good drink of cool water.

The next thing that my wife did was to grab my hand, and try to lift my hand up. I was not quite sure what she was trying to do. It took a few minutes, (which seemed like an hour), to realise what she wanted to do. She was trying to get my hand, and lift it up to her towards her face; but I still did not know why.

I finally decided to “help,” and then I let her take my hand for what ever she was trying to do. When at last she got my hand close enough, she leaned her head forward, and kissed my hand. When her lips touched my hand she looked at me with those big beautiful eyes, welled up with a big tear, and she just smiled. She couldn't speak, but the eyes, and the smile said enough. I had just "heard" it again. A faint whisper. "You are here for a reason."

It was the best kiss I ever had in my life. A small, tender moment with a big message. The same message I have been hearing all these years sprouted to life, anew. It gave substance to what I thought was just a quiet whisper in the background.

During this visit; I decided to ask her a question. I wondered what was behind the still, small voice this time. I wanted to know what her message was. The whispering hope had me surrounded. The question popped out gently:

"If you only had one minute left, and if you had to choose the one most important thing to say, what would it be?”

Without even a second’s hesitation, she looked me in the eye, and pronounced with a smile “I am loved!” Now THAT message was a true miracle for she was not able to speak  during the previous few days.

No. I don't like hospitals.

Because of cancer; I will keep going back. I want to hear it one more time. But the cancer doesn't define us. Thats not the real reason I was there.

But, every time I go; I AM "there for a reason." I learned that I am what I do.

"I am loved."

(yes, God did "save the best for last" ).

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 26, 2019 7:52 am

CentralAB‍ , what a lovely tribute - to both your lives! Thank you for sharing this. You truly did find your calling.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Dec 27, 2019 5:23 pm

CentralAB‍ 

That, my friend, is some of the most moving writing I have read this season.

Sharing your musings with us is one of the true blessings that I have had this season. I think the photography that seems to go along with this stuff demonstrates that artist heart that makes you a valuable contributor to this community.

Thanks

Angus
My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by CentralAB on Dec 28, 2019 10:28 am

Thank you WestCoastSailor‍  and Cynthia Mac‍  I appreciate hearing that. I was a little hesitant to open up my thoughts like this to the general public, at first, because "guys are not supposed to be in tune with their emotions" like that. But I decided to do it because I know there are grieving caregivers and others who would appreciate a way of making a good story come out of a bad thing. In my case, the cancer journey itself was and is my calling. Knowing that makes all the difference in the world to me.

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by NannaM on Dec 28, 2019 10:41 am

CentralAB‍,   your post moved me to tears.  
How can something so sad and painful and ugly as cancer bring out such beauty? Your words are a true inspiration to me to give a little more, love a little more, and be the kindest I can be. 
Thank you.
Molly

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by CentralAB on Dec 28, 2019 10:53 am

NannaM:
CentralAB‍,   your post moved me to tears.  
How can something so sad and painful and ugly as cancer bring out such beauty?

 
Hello NannaM‍  Thank you very much. I have a signature at the end of all my emails that says "there is always a little light...."  Through other life experiences, as well as this cancer journey with my wife, I an unable to not see some kind of light in a given situation, and I think thats what has kept me going. My wife and I met through online dating! And the first email she sent me had a signature: "Love & Light >>>>>" BEFORE I even met her I knew she was the one! :)

Re: The Caregiver's Reason For The Season

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 29, 2019 8:36 am

CentralAB‍ I’m not sure where the signature line, “Love and Light” originated, but I have heard of it before. Never heard about it leading to a long term relationship, though, so good for you!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying