I was in a meeting at work, a pretty important one, when I got a “call me” text.
I excused myself to the hallway to hear on the other end “I’m at the ER with your mom”. Then, I left that very important meeting for something far more important. My mom. For the next week I didn’t leave her side.
Nights on the hospital pullout couch.
Waiting to hear from doctors. Making sure I heard every report, knowing exactly what to do for our new normal. Leaving the hospital only to do our nighttime routine with my boys, shower and then head right back to the hospital. It was a lot. But at a time that was stressful, in a place that is not the happiest, I had a different experience. The actions of others in a time of despair/sorrow showed me one thing. Kindness.
I was overwhelmed by the displays of kindness I witnessed that week.
On the elevator back to my mom’s room, from a short break to the Starbucks downstairs, I happened to have the pleasure to ride with a very nice couple. They spoke to everyone as they came on and off the elevator and joked about how slow the elevators were that day. They just seemed like really nice people. Her bald head, suitcase and bag of knitting supplies made it clear that they were not there to visit someone. She was clearly there for treatment. And as their turn came to exit the elevator, they said their goodbyes to everyone, and the woman said to her husband “Here we go again!”
This was not her first time taking that trip on the elevator. And even in that moment she chose to be kind to others.
Her displays of kindness came at a time that she had every right to not do so. Many people that crossed my path that week. And they were all just that, kind. There was the family who was having a hallway meeting with a physician over coffee to discuss the future of their loved one. No one was upset. There was no tension between them. They were simply trying to make the best decision as a team. Then, there was the older man who was just a patient a week prior due to a heart attack that took time to say he would pray for my mother’s recovery. And I can’t forget the nurse who took the time to walk me to Chick-Fil-A. Because…Chick-Fil-A!
Those people may never remember me. But I will forever remember them.
I will forever remember the kindness they showed me. It was what I needed.
So, when things are rough remember to be kind. Be kind to others you come in contact with and those going through alongside you. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You never know who’s watching. Your kindness may be someone else’s strength.