Every now and then, I have a visit that, for me, just epitomizes why I do what I do. What does it really mean to Share the Journey Together?
Today was just such a day. I met with a patient at Longwood Health and Rehabilitation for the first time, after meeting her son and learning a little bit about her. She is just shy of 90 years old and, up until a couple of months ago, she had been completely independent.
As we get older, life becomes more challenging, and even the little things often seem beyond our power to overcome. Her son had warned me that she is “a little bit stubborn” when it comes to her independence. I opened by introducing myself and in an attempt to empathize with her, I said, “I guess the last few months have been a little bit challenging.” I continued to explain that her son had shared that she had had a series of falls. She just kind of stared back at me.
She had lived in Taiwan for the first 30 years for her life, and I was beginning to think that she did not understand me. I changed course and remarked that maybe when her son was available, we could talk, and he might be able to translate a little bit. To which she barked back at me, “Oh, I understand you. There is just nothing you can do for me.”
She shared that the doctors had told her that the hip she had broken would never be the same again. It would never fully support her weight.
“No amount of talking is going to change that fact,” she added. I admitted that she was absolutely correct. I could not re-establish her former glory and independence.
“But…” I countered, “is there something I can do to make your current reality a little bit better?”
Before she could formulate an answer, I asked her to tell me about her life. She told me where she had been born and about her husband. She described how they had moved as the government had moved. Then something magical happened. As she began to speak about her sons, her eyes lit up. She transformed from a two-dimensional picture of an older lady in a wheel chair to a three-dimensional loving mother, perhaps a little graying, but animated and full of life. She smiled and laughed and enjoyed the moments as she bragged about each of her sons’ accomplishments one by one.
Every time I lean into the impossible, God reveals Himself by making something happen. My job is to be a witness. To show up, watch Him work, and tell the world about the Good News. My tasks vary from day to day, whether they be cleaning toilets, planting the garden or spending time with an elderly lady who needs to remember that she is loved beyond measure, despite the fact that her hip has problems.
God faithfully does the rest.