When Others Count
One Sunday evening, a parishioner went to church to meet the pastor. The pastor had just returned from his regular visit to a Home for the Aged, and in the course of the conversation told his visitor that that week, eight of the Home’s thirty residents had died. Shocked, the visitor asked what impact so many deaths had on the staff. The chaplain said it was very tough on everyone, but went on to share a particular incident that had taken place.
On Saturday, a woman who had been at the Home for a couple of months had a visit from her teenage son. It was a great visit, filled with laughter and fun and hugs. At noon the boy told his mother he was going to have lunch with friends but would return later in the afternoon. Shortly after the son left, the mother called the nurse on duty, a wonderful young woman who was her favourite nurse of all. “I think this is it. I may be dying.”
The nurse checked her vital signs and replied honestly, “Yes, it is possible you are.” The woman then asked the nurse, “Will you hold me? I think if you hold me I can do this well.” The young nurse did not hesitate. She got into the bed and cradled that old, emaciated body in her arms – and lead her into eternity.
“What about the nurse?” the visitor asked the pastor. “How did it affect her?” The pastor replied that the nurse had taken four days off to go to a hill resort to ponder over and decide whether to come back to work again.
“Do you think she’ll be back?” the visitor asked.
“She’ll be back. You learn in a place like this that caring hurts; but when you really care you offer something special; and become special yourself.”
– Donald L. Anderson
Caring hurts, but it counts; and the final analysis, that alone matters.