Thursday, June 18, 2009

Take Time to Make Time

Earlier this week, I was at the hospital for a routine test. At this particular hospital, you must first register with the hospital before going to the actual test.
The waiting room was crowded, there were parents with babies in strollers, some people in wheelchairs and a few standing. There must have been maybe 5 hospital staff people taking the intake information (insurance, address, DOB). They would come out into a hallway and solemnly call the next persons name. It was obvious that this was a dull routine that they had fallen into. It is not easy dealing with the ill, the impatience of some and the downright rude.

I heard my name being called. I followed my in taker into her tiny office, maybe 5ft x 5ft. She sat down and asked for my information, which I happily handed her. As I sat there quietly as she did her tasks, I noticed a small bulletin board to my right. I turned to look at the pictures tacked up on the board and saw what looked to be children and grandchildren. I answered the questions that she was asking me and as we waiting for the paperwork to print out, I said "Margaret, do you have someone in the military?"
Margaret looked up, with a smile (finally, an expression on her face) and told me that it was her granddaughter. I asked where she was stationed and how long she has been active in the military.
With great pride and some fear, Margaret told me that her granddaughter was in Afghanistan and scheduled to come home on September 9th of this year. Margaret's nephew and granddaughter's husband were all stationed over there together. I sat back in my chair and listen to Margaret as she went on to tell me that where they are stationed, there is not really anything to do for downtime except walk and climb a certain protected mountain. Margaret pointed to a picture that was cut from the newspaper of 2 soldiers atop a mountain holding an outstretched American Flag.

My paperwork had printed and sat in the tray awaiting their retrieval as I sat in my chair giving Margaret the only thing I had to offer, my time.

As the conversation ended, I wished all the best and a safe return of Margaret's family to her and asked her to let them know I said Thank You for their courageous service to and for our country.
Margaret's eyes filled with tears as she thanked me and nodded with yet another smile.

My investment was to take notice of the name on the hospital credentials and my surroundings.

My return was seeing a smile on Margarete's face and the knowing that she knew I cared.

I love the priceless moments I am graced with in my life.


Frank Dickinson said...

Another amazing moment shared through your blog.

The priceless thing about this encounter is that you paid attention enough to know that there was an opportunity for engagement. Simply put, you gave a rats ass enough to care. Then you reached out in love and compassion.

This is why I enjoy reading your blog.

This is why I feel blessed to be married to you.

Thank you for all you do.

RuthAnn said...

Thank you Frank.

I take the words you once told me to heart, "try to make each day special for someone, even if that someone is yourself".
What I notice is that when I reach out to someone,karma sends it right back to me. It is such a beautiful bonus.

I do not have much to give, so I give what I have, ~*~ME~*~

Thank you for restoring my faith in the world and in myself

~always yours

Xavierism said...

I'm certain that Margaret appreciated the fact that you took a moment to connect with as only another Mother can. I'm certain it can't be easy living day to day knowing loved ones are away fighting a war.

I always pray for our troops and I'll include Margaret's grand daughter as well.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend!