I started a new job to supplement our income, pay off fertility treatment debt, and save for future fertility treatments. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be over-doing it and working too hard right now after everything I’ve been through lately. Both my job at Children’s Hospital and my new job as a home health care nurse are part time. Together they equal about full time, plus a little more. We really need the money, so I’m working 7 days a week.
I was randomly assigned to take care of a very special lady in her home. She has cancer that started in her breast, and later metastasized to her brain and bones. She’s terminal at the age of 62. While this is tragic, heartbreaking, and unfair, she shows strength that is unimaginable. She is just a ghost of the person she used to be, but still musters the courage to face each day. She is stronger in spirit than in physical form.
Sometimes I’m at a loss for words because I can’t imagine being in her shoes. She is embarrassed to have someone taking care of her and witnessing her loss of bodily functions. She thinks that her husband and I are feeling disgusted or burdened. In fact, I feel nothing but respect for her and rewarded by helping her. Watching her husband care for her, I see nothing but love and adoration. They’ve been married for 40 years, and their bond shows the true, sacred meaning of wedding vows. He’s gentle and patient with her and doesn’t let her see his feelings of hopelessness, that he later relays to me.
“We don’t talk about what will happen”, he says with tears in his eyes. And then he asks me what to expect and how to deal with it, desperate for comfort. I am less than half their age, but they turn to me for answers. I feel nervous about what to say, but the words somehow come easily. They flow from my heart. I tell them to keep praying, hoping, and loving each other. That love will see them through. To lean on their family, be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. Doctors don’t know everything and miracles occur everyday. Not to give false hope, but to hope for some pain free days that she can spend with her grandchildren.
And then I look at my own life. My losses, my pain. It pales in comparison to their life and what they must go through on a daily basis. It really puts things in perspective. I need to heed my own advice – it’s good advice. 🙂 And that’s when I realized that God sent one of his angels to remind me of the good things in life. The simple things we take for granted.
On the first day I met her, I asked if she had any children. That’s when she relayed to me her 2 miscarriages many many years ago and her struggle to conceive. All these years later, the pain of her losses still brought tears to her eyes. She didn’t give up, and she did have one healthy daughter. I never brought up my inability to conceive or my losses. I simply listened and offered support. I’m supposed to be helping her, but she’s helping me more. It’s not about me – it’s about her, but it seemed like a special message from God. He works in mysterious ways…..
Here’s a beautiful song by Alexi Murdoch called “All my days” from the movie Away We Go.