Life’s Lessons

The gift of just ‘being there’

It had been a long hiatus! First, Christmas and New Year’s Day put a stop on our regular Monday visits to the nursing home. Then, our registration as a therapy dog team did not come through because of a mandatory clean slate medical report. So, by the time we got back, it had been five weeks!

Were there changes? Oh, yes! One lady with whom I have developed a very close friendship has failed considerably. But, oh! She was so delighted to see us again. She keeps graham crackers in her cupboard for Kelly. She gets out one or two crackers, breaks them into small pieces, and doles them out slowly as we visit.

She has taught Kelly to take a piece of cracker as she holds it in her lips and is totally delighted when Kelly gently takes that piece. She is thrilled anew each time they touch noses in the taking process.

She has 12 adult children and they, in their show of love for their mother, have drawn up a schedule for the month. Every day someone is assigned to spend the day with Mom, helping her as needed and just “being there.”

You know, just “being there” is a gift in itself. You don’t have to visit all the time or even much at all, but your very presence is greatly appreciated. I had never met the daughter who was there yesterday, but I knew her through her mother, who had kept me abreast of the strides she and her husband were making in the house which was to be their retirement home. Though renovations are not quite complete, they have moved and are settling in as space permits.

Next week, I’ll meet another of her children. They feel they know me, too, because their mother has told them about our visits.

One day relatively soon, I feel, she will make her trip to her final home. She has expressed her readiness about that trip so I don’t worry about it. Again, I’m just there – with Kelly, of course.

It’s a small thing, this “being there,” but how greatly appreciated!

To share in another’s preparedness for their final home-going is no small thing, though. Talking with the individual, being sure they know Jesus as Savior – that’s a big thing!

While on that subject, let me ask again: “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” If not, why not just quietly speak to Him right now and ask Him to come into your heart? He’s waiting. He’s listening for YOUR plea. He’s “being there” for you!

The gift of just ‘being there’