Having spent a week in the hospital recently and two more
weeks convalescing and getting rehab at the Oak Crest Health
Center, I now appreciate what little acts of kindness mean to
people who are laid up for any period of time. I only will mention
first names, as I did not get permission to use full names.
If you are a patient at Kishwaukee Hospital it is easier
for family members and friends to visit. But when transferred
as far away as Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital,
one feels pretty lonely. I do want to acknowledge Pastor Dan
and his wife, June, for driving all that way, as it really brightens
your day while flat on your back in a hospital bed.
A written message or card
First, I need to mention that the staff at both Kish and Central
DuPage hospitals, as well as Oak Crest, were very kind, patient
and caring, so that helps immensely. Getting my twice-weekly
bath was refreshing, although I found out I am ticklish between
Visitors such as MaryLou, Tom, Sally, Leronna, Nancy, Clark,
Ann, Dave and Carol, Gordon and Lucy were much appreciated. For
those of us who have cellphones, calls are welcome, too. I also
looked forward to digital editions of the Daily Chronicle that
I could read on my cellphone. A good friend at Oak Crest, Lester,
maneuvered his motorized cart into my room to bring me magazines
and my favorite Sunday reading material The New York Times. If
you read every section, it takes days.
I now realize how important it is to visit old friends,
former classmates, teachers, distant relatives, as well as closer
family members. Some time ago, I began reading passages in my
Grandma Strykers diary from way back in the 1960s, and
she had the best days when someone called or visited.
Even a postcard or thinking of you card is
a welcome arrival in the mailbox, but a handwritten note is really
special. Sharing your cellphone photos with a person is fine,
but people spending months or years in a care facility would
rather have a real photo they can keep. This was evidenced by
the number of bulletin boards filled with photos and other mementos
in peoples rooms.
Something said that really touched me when attending the
memorial service of a Genoa-Kingston classmate last weekend:
Jans favorite adult beverage was apparently gin, so in
her final days, they were able to help her enjoy just a taste
by soaking a small sponge on a stick used to moisten peoples
dry mouths. A big smile came across her face as she recognized
that familiar taste.
So, small acts of kindness really mean a lot to people
in the hospital or in long-term care. See what you can do to
make someones day.