Saturday, October 31, 2009

Topic: not crochet...

Those of you who know me well know that not only am I a crochet designer, but I am a physical therapist as well. I work primarily in an outpatient orthopedic clinic, but occasionally have to work a weekend in the hospital. I don't share that here, typically, because we are bound by federal Hippa laws to protect the privacy of those we serve, so usually the easiest way to comply with this is not to share anything. But I have a story to tell that I think will touch someone and will disguise the person I am talking about so that their identity is safe.
I went to see a gentleman today to get him out of bed and walk him. I was rather well acquainted with him as well as his wife, as his wife had been a patient of mine in the clinic at one time or another over the last 5 or 6 years. As we began our walk, I inquired about his wife, and by the way he drew up short and looked at me, I knew I had said something wrong. "Oh, Renee', she passed away this summer." to which I replied, "I am so sorry...I did not know."
In my some 20 years of working in health care (dentistry, then PT), I have lost patients, which is to be expected. We all die eventually, right? It just took me by surprise and as we walked down the hall (tears running unashamedly down my face) , he shared with me how his wife had gotten ill and finally just couldn't fight anymore.
The thing about this couple is this; they were special people to me. They were open about being Christians and they both loved the Lord. You could see and feel the love they had for Him, for each other and for their fellow humans. As to the lady, who I will call Milly (not her real name, by the way) she was extra special. She had lost a leg as a young woman, but you would have never known, because she used her prosthesis so well you couldn't tell. She survived breast cancer and radical mastectomy....twice. In more recent years she developed multiple other health problems, yet every time I saw Milly, she had a smile on her face and I never heard her say a bad thing about anyone. She was genuinely loving and caring and never felt sorry for herself. I often thought of her in amazement that her faith was so strong that none of her circumstances seemed to get her down.
I often tell people that I have been called to this profession of caring for people because it keeps me from taking myself too seriously and prevents me from having my own pity parties. I see so many people who are challenged in life, that it reminds me that I have nothing to complain about. Oh, that more people could see some of what I see, that they could also realize how truly blessed they are!
I have no doubt that Milly is in heaven, whole and healthy, looking down on her family, waiting for the day they will join her. Nevertheless, I miss her, and will never forget her. You just never know what kind of impact you will make on others, but she definitely made one on me. I won't say good-bye, Milly; rather I will say, "See ya later"