lilyjohn Posted February 11, 2004 Share Posted February 11, 2004 The Circle Of Love Many of the recent posts have led to some very open discusions as well as showing a difference of opinion. It is because of that that I have decided to share a story with you that will explain not only why my personal beliefs are so strong but where they came from. After Johnny died I was lost and alone. I wanted to have people in my life yet at the same time I shied away from them. I would not let myself become emotionally envolved. In some ways that extended to my own family. I knew that there were issues about his death that needed answers and I set out to find those answers with little success. That too left me feeling alone and seemed to rob me of the purpose I thought I had found to justify the suffering that both Johnny and I had lived through. We had been seperated for over forty years because of someone elses interference. That seperation as well as the seperate lives that we led left us both with a lot of emotional scars. I saw too with Johnny the harm that neglect and indifference could cause a person. I started calling the indifference emotional neglect. Johnny had suffered both physical and emotional neglect. I set out to make a difference in the lives of others. I never wanted to see anyone else suffer from that kind of neglect. Just six short months after his death I went to work in an assisted living facility as a caregiver. I made sure that I did all of the things that were required of my job and went one step further to give a little extra time. I saw that those people had their physical needs well taken care of. I saw too that many of them suffered from emotional neglect. I did all that I could at the time to make a difference in their lives but still I held myself back. I would not let myself become emotionally envolved with them. Many of them were in their ninties and had severe health problems. I often wondered why those people who were so much worse off than Johnny had been were still alive and he wasn't. One day I was to learn the answer to that question. In doing so I would again see why Johnny being denied the right to fight for his life had been so wrong. I had trained myself to turn off everything when I entered the room of one of my residents. No matter how much pain I was in I could not let it show. They had enough problems of their own. They didn't need to see or know about my pain. I was feeling especially down one day. The same question that had haunted me sense Johnny's death had been tearing me apart all day. I knew how afriad he had been of dying. I knew too how much he had wanted to live. The thought that the last thing he would ever have known was fear was tearing me apart. I had had many signs that pointed to him still being with me but I questioned those things constantly. I needed to believe that he still existed and was always near me. Yet something held me back from believing. There was one private little man with a ready smile who I would often have on my assignment. It was well known that he would only allow one caregiver to assist with his shower. He was due a shower that day and I was scheduled to assist him. I entered his room prepared for his refusal of my help. My emotions had been raw all day but as ususal I turned them off when I entered his room.. To my surprise he agreed to let me assist with his shower. After he was finished I was helping him dry off when we started a conversation that would change not only my relationship with those residents but my life as well. He was diabetic and I asked how long he had had that disease. He told me that he had only had it sense his stroke. Because he showed no outward signs of having had a stoke I was surprised and told him that I would never have known that he had had one. That is when he opened up to me. He said "I am alive through the love of Christ. I died when I had the stroke and went to this beautiful place. Was it heaven? I don't know but I saw Christ and he told me to go back that it was not my time yet. I had to go back and live because my job was not finished." As I listened to his words the tears ran down my face. I had been wondering where Johnny was and how he was all morning. The words that man told me restored my hope. He gave me exactly what I needed at that time.. I told him thank you and explained how I had been feeling and why. He told me not to worry that Johnny is in a wonderful place. He knew because he had seen that place. After that day whenever I saw him he would smile and touch my hand and ask how I was doing. The words that man said to me that day opened my heart. No longer was I able to not become emotionally envolved. He had restored my hope and helped me find my faith again. He also gave me what I needed to reach out to the others with love and compassion. I grew to love many of the people that I cared for. I would not only talk to them but I would listen to what they had to say. I learned that they had so much to give if only people would listen. I gave them all a part of myself and my love. They gave the same back to me. Many would hug me good night and often I would get a special little smile from them. It caused me great emotional pain when some of them died but what they gave me sustains me in my bad times. Hearing them talking among themselves about me was something so very special. I heard them say over and over how much I did for them and that I listened to them. I have heard the view expressed that when a person reaches a certain age or has a certain disease or disability that they should not have had anything done to prolong their life. I can not and will not ever agree with that. Every person who lives touches many lives. If they live but minutes or many years they still touch someone in some way. When a person is left to die when there is a means to save them not only are they robbed but the people whose lives they would have touched are robbed as well. From the point of view of many people those people who gave so much to me should not have been alive. Money had been spent to save them that could have been used somewhere else. Their quality of life did not seem worth saving. If that point of view had prevailed I would have never gotten the gift that a private little man with a ready smile had given to me. My faith and my beliefs would not have been restored. The circle of love would have been broken. Isn't that what life is all about? We form a circle of love with humanity. If one person in that circle is not there when needed the circle is broken and all who would have been touched by that love suffer. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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