I listened with rapt attention to young Amanda Gorman recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden. I was astonished how her words, placed together in unexpected arrangements, so deeply moved me, like the notes of a melody that touches my heart. Her last stanza says:
“…When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”
For there is always Light. There is also always Love, but only, if ONLY we are brave enough to see it and to BE the Light and the Love.
There are many who are giddy with excitement about the new president and our first woman vice president. I often wondered if I would live long enough to witness a woman in such a high position. There are also many who are horrified and disgusted with the same result. Then there are those who took their outrage to...
Do You Hear ME?
“I hear you, and I understand that is your point of view.”
Those words do not mean, “You are right,” nor do they mean, “You are wrong.” They mean, “I hear you and can appreciate that you feel that way.” Sounds simple – so why do so many of us find it impossible to say them?
How does it feel to be heard? When someone looks you in the eye, really listens to you, and hears what you have to say, it is a gift. When was the last time you received such a gift? When is the last time you fully gave the gift of your presence?
So often the opinions or beliefs we hold true in our lives spring from experiences we don’t even remember. Was it something that happened to me in childhood, or the way I saw my parents react to a crisis, or was it an idea or a philosophy I adopted just to fit in, that molded my opinions or beliefs?
I was a senior in high school when desegregation became law. In our...
Do you know someone who is a caregiver? I’ll bet every one of you either IS (or has been) a caregiver or knows one. Whether you are taking care of a sick child or an elderly parent, a partner or a friend, caregiving is not for the faint of heart. It is a hero’s job.
Heroes are thought of as courageous souls with noble qualities, who stand in the face of danger and that is certainly true. War heroes are immortalized in statues found all across the world. But what of the Caregiver Hero, have you ever seen a statue of her? The Caregiver Hero is someone who quietly day after day, month after month, year after year comforts, cares for, and nurtures a frail or infirmed loved one without accolades or honors, or financial gain and even sometimes at great financial peril to themselves.
Caregivers have tremendous responsibilities, not only are they helping with the basic day to day living activities of feeding, bathing, and dressing...
In hospice, we don’t have anything to sell other than the services we provide. We don’t make a product; we don’t offer goods or trade. What we offer is love and care to people who are dying, and to their loved ones.
Generally, the first order of hospice business is relieving someone’s physical suffering; we give them morphine and the pain (hopefully) goes away. It can be more challenging to relieve someone’s spiritual and emotional suffering. Put it all together: You have a dying person in pain, struggling with the unanswerable question, “Why me?” and a family fractured with grief and in spiritual anguish. The sum of all these is human suffering, not just a health crisis, and it’s our calling to ease it by caring for our fellow beings, empowering them to live their lives fully until they die.
When people speak of hospice and the gallant work they do, who do you think they’re talking about? For me, it’s Melanie...