Slowing down to the speed of
Caring and Connecting with the rest of the world!
It is so sad and disheartening to hear about all the people who were residents in long term care homes and have died because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
Over the past 15 years I have had the opportunity of being invited by many long term care home administrators to work with their staff. To remind them how significant the work they do is to the people they care for as well as to their family members.
I always say, “God bless those people who get up every day to go to work in long term care homes. It takes a very special kind of person to do what they do to make it their job to look after the quality of life for our loved ones.”
My Mom was in a long term care home in Kitchener for about 6 years. The people who looked after her there were “Amazing.” They loved their jobs!
This recent focus in the news about long term care reminded me of a very special
“Brief Moment in Time” I experienced while visiting one of those homes.
It was the evening of July 8, 2003. I was invited to make a staff presentation at a Long-Term Care Home in a small Ontario town, population 600.
When I arrived in this wonderful rural community, I parked my car in the parking lot and proceeded to walk towards the entrance to the building. It was around 6:15 pm when I arrived. As I was approaching the entrance to the building, outside on the front lawn there was an elderly woman sitting in a chair, looking rather pensive.
I walked up to her and I said, “And how are you this fine evening?” She answered, “Oh, not real good. I asked her why she wasn’t real good. She said, “Today I lost my good friend Jack”.
As I spoke with her further, I learned that Jack was one of the residents of the Home I was visiting, who had died earlier that day. I said, “I’m really sorry to hear that”. I then asked her to tell me about Jack. She started by telling me that Jack reminded her of her dad, and that she and Jack were really good friends. As she was reflecting on her memory of Jack, she seemed to light up. Her sadness temporarily disappeared, and she took great pleasure telling me about him.
Here I am a total stranger, and she is pouring her heart out about her friend Jack. I left her by saying, “Jack sounds like he was a very lucky man to have a friend like you. She said, “Thank you”, and I went on my way into the building.
What precious moments and experiences we can have with other people, especially total strangers. If only we would take the time and initiative to “connect” with other people, to care enough about each other, through some small gesture—to make other people feel that they MATTER. Most times we are so focussed on all the things that we are so busy doing that we rarely stop to embrace precious moments such as this.
How many rare and inspiring moments are you passing up on when you don’t take the time to stop and initiate and include other human beings in your life?
Thing is, you just never know how meaningful a gesture of caring about others might mean to someone. It is amazing what a warm smile and a few kind words can do for others. Especially if they are dealing with some of life’s “stuff” at the time.
Remember, the most important part of our lives is, “How we make a difference in the lives of others.” Every one of us has that Opportunity every single day if we develop the Practice of “Slowing down to the speed of Caring and Connecting with the rest of the world!”