This past week my Dad fell twice. Both falls occurred during the wee hours of the morning and thankfully my Dad did not suffer any injuries… but of course that does not mean that I wasn’t worried about him. Immediately I began wondering what was causing him to fall and what could be done to prevent him from falling in the future.
When I asked Dad what he thought was going on, he really didn’t know. That might also be a part of the problem. When Dad awakes, he “thinks” he is fine and so he tries to get up (maybe before he is really awake or before his body is ready) and then tumbles to the floor. To make matters worse, Dad chooses not to call the med-tech on duty because he “doesn’t want to bother” anyone and so he remains on the floor for an hour or more.
Fortunately I found that I was not alone in my concern. A few days ago I received a call from the staff nurse at the facility where my Dad is staying and she asked if we could talk. Since I was about to bring my Dad back to the facility, I agreed to meet with her. When Dad and I sat with Kathleen I was impressed with the caring way that she spoke to my Dad and how she shared real concern for his safety. She was able to do so in such a way that captured his attention in ways that I as his daughter cannot.
We agreed to ask Dad’s doctor to look into adjusting Dad’s medications and also encouraged Dad to consider calling for help before he gets up in the night… at least for a week or two. When I finally left the facility to go back home, I felt a great sense of relief because I had found an ally on this journey. This is not to say that the rest of the staff is lacking; that is not true at all. But after talking with Kathleen I felt that someone understood my Dad, had a connection with him, and was looking out for him. That means a lot to me and so yesterday afternoon I stopped by Kathleen’s office with an Apple Pie to thank her. It’s so very nice to know that I have her on my team.
“It is not how much you do but how much love you put in the doing.” Mother Teresa
Apple Pie beginnings
In my last post, I asked what was so good about goodbye. The story behind that post was that an old friend is moving away from the area to live closer to his children and how much our community will miss him. I mentioned that I was lucky to have been given the chance to say goodbye, because sometimes that is not possible.
Shortly after that post was published, a dear friend wrote to say that she’d lost a relative quite suddenly. Saying goodbye was not really an option given the circumstances and that made his passing even more difficult.
My friend shared that her son was going to visit the family of the man who’d passed and when I offered to make a pie for the family, she accepted graciously. It was all I could do to help and I was grateful for the chance to assuage the pain that she is feeling.
Almost ready for the oven!
This is not to say that a pie will make much of a difference; but it is the love that was sent with the pie that might. After all, it is the very best thing that we have to offer one another on this journey called life. And it is the only thing that makes it worth living.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13
“Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us; so be swift to love and make haste to be kind.” Henri-Frédéric Amiel
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
Today I spent many hours preparing food for a celebration of life service. It was my honor to do so and I was touched by the trust that had been bestowed on me. It was important to me to return that trust and so I worked very hard to make sure that everything that I made was as good as it could be.
When all the preparations were completed, the celebration service began. The moderator opened with a moment of silence. Afterwards friends and family members shared their special memories about a man who was well-loved and who will be missed very much.
After the service, I realized that I had yet to deliver my pie of the day. I’d made it for a friend of mine but when I called tonight, she did not answer. As it was nearing nightfall, I thought I would find someone in need of dinner and honor my friend another day.
After a short ride through the downtown plaza in Ashland, I spotted several outdoor urban dwellers and parked my car. As I approached the men, I held out the quiche and asked if they would like it. Immediately they both began thanking me and said that they would bring the quiche to the church shelter to share with the others who were there. As I left, they thanked me again and wished me a good evening.
As I was driving home I was struck by this thought: I put the same attention and care into the feast as I did with the quiche and it does not matter who receives our gifts; what is more important is that we use them.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
— Mother Teresa