So, as a few of you close friends know, I volunteer at the local ER once a week. Most nights it's fairly bland - not too crazy a pace, no-one needs anything, and I end up doing 8 laps of the ER in 3 hrs checking on people.
Some nights it's crazy; we're busy and I get back to the dorm wiped.
Some nights it's an absolute joy.
(I think I made 2 1/3 rounds today total)
You see, I love people. As an introvert, that might seem strange, but it's true. I love people. So, when I pop in on a patient and they start a conversation, I'll stop for a while and chat (I do have rounds to finish after all). It's these moments that I really love my volunteer shift.
Today was no exception.
I finished my first round in about 30 mins - rather quick. and I was dreading what the night would become. A third of the way through my second round, I popped into the bay of a patient who'd had a nurse in there the last round. She was an older, black lady, her hair covered and she started asking me a few questions, which turned, slowly into a conversation.
As it turns out, she'd led a pretty full life: married, widowed, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, working and staying at home, and now laying on a hospital bed one ice-cold January evening.
I honestly wish we'd met on different terms: outside the hospital, with a whole block of free time to spend chatting, yet, I know one sad truth: had I seen her on the street or in the park, I'd have simply passed her by - this beautiful, strong, vibrant, 93-year-old woman whom I chatted with, listened to, encouraged, was encouraged by, and laughed with.
Mrs. Grace, if you ever read this, it was a genuine joy and pleasure to meet you. I hope we meet again this side of heaven.
God, help me have eyes to see the unnoticed, the Mrs. Graces, the Eleanor Rigbys who are all around me, day by day.