Let's take a walk through a brand new day.
“We’ve already bought the cheese and crackers!”
I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals in my adult life. Thankfully, I was not the one in the hospital bed but rather the one sleeping in the lie flat recliner beside the patient. I prefer to call it my “Delta One Bed”. The made up name just makes the bed seem a little more comfortable than it really is.
I first had the experience of staying nights in the hospital with my mother since I was the daughter that could sleep anywhere, anytime. After my mother passed, it was time to stay with my father and then later with my husband. It’s important, in my opinion, for someone to be there to pay attention to details and provide help or comfort when needed.
But, sometimes, it is the caregiver who needs comforting. And, sometimes, the caregiver doesn’t even realize that she needs comforting.
While thinking about the blessings of friends recently, I reflected on a memory of an extended hospital stay with a loved one. It was a very stressful time as the patient was extremely ill and had a very trying hospital stay. As the caregiver, I took my role very seriously and did my best to anticipate needs, take notes, be proactive and bring positivity and comfort to the patient.The days in the “Delta One Bed” became weeks and the soul became weary even as I maintained my cheerful spirit. Throughout the weeks, friends and family called and offered words of cheer, wisdom and offers of food and services. All of those kind gestures were truly appreciated and made me thankful for the loved ones in my life. One of those calls came from a friend who checked in daily. We chatted for a while and then she said, “Renea and I want to bring lunch to the hospital and eat with you in the cafeteria.” I immediately declined as the weather was freezing and rainy outside and Atlanta traffic is a nightmare. So I declined her offer several times as she continued to try to convince me to let them bring lunch. Finally, exasperated with me, Suzanne said, “Listen, we’ve already bought the cheese and crackers.” She continued without taking a breath and said, “We are bringing lunch tomorrow at 1pm and we are going to have a picnic in the cafeteria with or without you.” Then she hung up the phone. Needless to say, I was there, in the cafeteria, at 1pm.
They came, they brought the picnic, we laughed, we reminisced, and we even talked about the patient. After the picnic, they packed up and I walked them to their car to say goodbye. I noticed as I walked back into the hospital that I had a little extra bounce in my step. And, somehow, my “Delta One Bed” didn’t seem quite so bad that night.
Thank goodness for friends.
Merry Christmas and may your holiday be filled with happy times spent with friends and family. Especially those who are bold enough to say, “Look, we’ve already bought the cheese and crackers!”