Tenderness of Kindness

This afternoon I witnessed one of the most loving acts of kindness. I went to visit my 96 year old client. We were in the hospital yesterday. Today she was back at the facility. Life is truly ever changing.

When I got to her room I told her I had a vanilla shake for her. She wanted up and out of her bed. I asked the male nurse to help me transfer her to her wheelchair.

She can’t see. She asks for folks to come close so she can touch their face.

He picked her up. She said, “Darling, is that you?”

He answered with such tenderness, “It is my love.”

He sat her down and she grabbed him and kissed him on the cheek close to his mouth. “No one understands our love affair.”

He smiled (even though she can’t see him) “No, they don’t. But they don’t have to…”

She said loudly, “No one has to. We love each other too deeply and I don’t care what anyone thinks!”

He left the room and I asked her about love. She shared it asking me for my hands. She spoke of connections. She always thinks I’m her favorite nurse. No point in correcting her. So she said, “You are young. Don’t work so hard that you forget to love full heartedly. If you are married make it unforgettable. Don’t take each other for granted.”

He returned to guide her out to the social gathering. Once again she grabbed him and she kissed his hands this time.

There was such tenderness from him. And acceptance. And something else…compassion and humanness. It’s not just his job. It’s the connection with her. It’s about showing her dignity as she’s transitioning. He sees her. She feels it.

She told me about her husbands. She shared about her church. I’ve heard most of it before but each time I witness something deeper in her stories. She has lived and wants another to know that she had a life that mattered. For those precious moments I am transported to another time and place where she is the protagonist of magic.

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