This is an open letter to a Hospice Patient, with her family’s permission and blessing, who impacted my life more than I could have ever impacted hers…
I was your Hospice Nurse, you were dying. I promised to keep you comfortable and safe, to be available to your family, and to be with you on your journey. Oh, Gracie, how could I possibly predict the large impact you’d have on my life or even guess the lessons you’d teach me.
You taught me that every day was about creating moments. You impressed forever in my memory how important it was to savor those moments. I watched with awe as you planned time to just sit and talk, to just be, with the people that were important to you. Your family, your friends.
Some mornings when I arrived, you’d be sitting outside with your husband, drinking coffee, leaning into each other as you shared quiet words. I loved witnessing those tender moments. It was a gentle reminder for me to savor the moments with my hubby. To put electronics away and just lean into each other and share a few uninterrupted minutes.
I watched you glow with joy when your grandsons arrived. How you insisted you weren’t too tired or in pain. How you just wanted to sit on the floor and play Uno with them. I cried when you told me you wanted them to remember you laughing and playing with them. While I’ve been told you were incredibly generous with your family, it was so apparent that savoring the time with those boys was the greatest gift. I was so beautifully reminded that laughing and playing with my own grand kids was the best present I could give them.
I loved your face lighting up when your daughter, the light of your life, walked in. I watched you spend hours talking as you held hands. I was touched by how gentle she was when you weren’t at your best. I loved hearing you share stories with her, making sure she knew everything you felt she needed to know. As difficult as it was, you made the trip with your family so they could see their roots. I need to make sure my kids know their history and my stories.
During the rough times, your house filled up with family members. You seemed to garner strength from them just being present. Even on the worse days you made them laugh with your silliness, you made them roll their eyes with your antics. Yes, they gained strength from you too.
Lesson learned, my dear, Gracie. You taught me to live each moment, to laugh every day, and to savor each minute with those you love.
I miss you, my friend.
Cynthia aka Tinkerbell