Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is such power in Kindness

Emily is a very eloquent and beautiful writer and she sent this email out to our family last night. It made us all laugh, cry, and want to be better people. Thanks Emily for your endless service to Mom, your beautiful thoughts and inspiring words. We love you!

"You know, some things are just down right crappy--and there really isn't much you can do about it except hope that somewhere down the line there will be a glimmer of sunlit hope that perhaps, somehow, the future could be different. Sometimes that hope is quite a ways off, but then, sometimes for the smallest increment there are those tender mercies that for a single moment open the cloud cover and mercifully allows in the sun. I witnessed one of those moments this evening.It had been a long day rife with hallucinations, poor pain management and looks and facial contortions which could shatter your heart. As the late afternoon progressed, the tension inside our usually happy and luxurious hospital room was ever climbing. I wanted to knock the blessed pain management correspondence out cold and then expressed exactly how I felt to the poor not-so-very-little-and-definitely-balding medical student (that Mom kept repeatedly mentioning did NOT have a ring on his finger--blghhh). Nobody seemed to be listening, Mom was near tears, the not-really-English-speaking nurse was exceptionally stubborn and refused to attempt to understand our demands (or leave). The rising pressure ended with a digestive explosion which true to form brought 2 doctors knocking at the door (their timing is impeccable, really). I slipped out and told them as the patient's advocate I would negotiate but that she was done seeing the medical community for a few moments. They were reasonable and readily understood the concern and dismissed the situation and the deaf and dumb pain management ladies orders immediately. I slipped back in and after getting things and Mom cleaned up finally got her settled back in bed....only to bring another knock at the door. In exasperation, I sighed. In walked the flower delivery lady all cheerful and excited....Mom and I simultaneously said "but she/I can't be around flowers"...."fortunately", the cute flower girl said with a great big smile, "they are fake". Mom's face lit up like a kid on Christmas. "Would you like to read the card?" the girl asked....Excitedly Mom took the card and opened it as we placed the flowers in a visible place and the girl slipped out. Its a beautiful basket with greenery and three bright and incredibly hopeful flowers. The brim of my heart attempted to flow out my eyes as I in awe contemplated what an incredible gesture it was to send a basket of artificial flowers....but who could they be from? By this time, the card was opened and Mom handed it to me and asked me to read it. Through scrawled letters I read the touching message and in near tears said, "of's from Jim and Sarah". These are the words of the card:

On the front: Sending you Hope
Inside: Strength, love and Support (this part was written in by hand) and Prayer

His message said: There are wonderful advances in cancer research and thousands of very smart people who have dedicated their lives and especially their hearts to find the cures and the causes. They wish you well.
Your faith will sustain, your courage will inspire others and your hopes will be realized.
God bless.Love, Jim and Sarah

Its the second time Mom had burst into a smile today. The first was when, completely unexpectedly (he lives in Maryland after all), Jim was standing in our doorway. Mom looked up, saw him, and instantaneously looked like she felt better. Completely serendipitously Dad had ran into him in the lobby (on a floor Dad was not even planning to get off on) and within minutes Jim stopped by our door just to say hello, wish Mom a brief well and continue off with the dignitaries he was with. Mom went on for awhile explaining what a wonderful person he was to the nurse and aide that attended her in the following minutes. Having lived so far away to miss most, if not all, family reunions during the course of my life, I had not met Jim but had heard of him and within moments, I felt this good looking stranger was family and must be of the illusive Maryland branch of Olsons. I was touched by how quickly he was here to visit (especially considering Dad called to tell me he had ran into him after he had already arrived and left). But even more so was I touched by the tender act of sending artificial flowers to brighten a day which had rather fleeting hope.
It was just a small thing, this act, but it seemed so representative of such a big thing. There is such power in kindness. There is such power in simple words said and gestures made. And sometimes, especially on the "cloudiest" of days there comes the one thing that can brighten and lift the lowest of hearts. Last August it was asked of President Monson what he would like for a birthday gift from members of the church and he said that he would ask each of us to find someone in need and do something to help them.
During the last months and year there have been an abundance of generous acts, countless meals, sweet hearts that have gone out of their way to be of some form of help, cards sent, calls made, emails, notes on the blog and innumerable prayers on our family's and Mom's behalf. These have been inspiring, and yet with so very many prayers sent I have wondered, if the pit of my heart could be as low as it is, how awful could it have been with no prayers? I'm glad I don't have the contrast for comparison, I suppose. I don't know why, today, a simple basket of fake flowers was so moving, but it was. Sincerity is an incredible thing. And for all of the thunderstorms that seem to inundate our world, it sure means the world when a simple sincere act is able to break through the clouds."

Becki with Jim and Sarah- they came by and visited again on Friday night one last time before heading back home to Maryland.


Mary said...

Emily - how beautifully written. Our prayers and love to your family

Frieda said...

Thanks for sharing, Emily! There are no 'coincidences' in life, it is truly the Lord's hand guiding your journey!

Jennifer and Jason Young said...

love you Becki!