I just got back from the hospital visiting my 93yr old brother-in-law. He is not doing so well and the prognosis is not bright.
But that is not the subject...he has lived a good long life and he is ready if this is his time.
Most of the family came and went, wrung their hands and milled around. No one did anything.
But we are special. We know what it is like in that hospital bed, how it feels to be weak as a kitten, a victim of our bodies or our pain...how even the littlest things help us feel better, brighten up and feel less yucky.
I made soup. A good, thick vegetable soup that was tasty and soft mushy meatballs that are easy to chew and swallow.
He ate with pleasure, drank some water (I refilled the sippy cup because he cannot lift the big water bottle...no wonder he wasn't drinking!)...He even sat up and asked for an expresso.
Then I massaged his hands and feet...he is getting scars on his heels from being in bed for so long and all of the I.V.s are making his hands stiff and sore.
He relaxed and breathed easier...got some color back in his legs...wiggled his toes too and smiled.
I would not know what to do or what needs to be done (bring my own napkins, cutlery and plates...) if I had not been in the hospital so often...I would not know what to do or even how to do it.
But there were wonderful people who came to see me, care for me, massage my feet so that I wouldn't get bedsores and calluses, powder and perfume me when I was feeling my crappiest...they gave me the greatest gifts that anyone has ever given me...hope and peace and comfort.
So I pay it forward. Because I know, I've been there. That is what makes all of us special...we know, we've been there and we can help others.