In all of the confusion of Katrina I forgot to mention that my hospice patient died the day after my last visit. I held her hands praying that God would take her soon. She had deteriorated so much. She is now singing with him and his angels and I thank God.
Here I am a week and a half later and God has decided to be funny. I think he is testing me to see how serious I am about this volunteer work and how truly dedicated I am. I think I may just surprise him with my commitment to this worthy cause.
What does my loving God decide to do in his oh so masterful plans? He takes a looney woman like myself who has been three times married and divorced and decides to put me on a bereavement case. He assigns me to a lil old grey haired woman who is 86 years old and has just lost her husband of an almost unprecedented 70 years. (80 years is the oldest I think) Yes I said 70 years! Of course I’m pretty jubilant because I know that this woman definitely has to have something to teach me that I haven’t figured out in three failed marriages but I’m not too sure she has anything in common with me and that I can offer her anything of equal value.
She lives with her daughter who asked Hospice to send someone to visit her mother because her mother just sits there all day long staring out the window doing nothing since her husband died.
Enter Sharlene to this humble abode....I arrive at a modest brick home in the country surrounded by a hurricane fence. I am met by the daughter and her roosters, chickens, 3 dogs (one is a Great Dane almost as tall as I am sniffing around me suspiciously) , and 10 cats. She asked me if I like animals. I look at her and just smile because although I don’t dislike animals I am definitely no Ellie Mae Clampett.
We proceed towards the house and they have a chickens sitting in a jeep underneath the garage and I’m thinking to myself this can’t be happening and God you think you are soooooooooo funny don’t you?
I am shown to a door into the home...no one opens it...I’m expected to just walk into the home unannounced...along with the Great Dane..he has taken a liking to me and decides to become my sole welcoming committee. (Animals just love me..when my daughter was younger her cat "popcorn" whom I didn’t have the time of day for.. adored me and decided to have her kittens on MY chair...My daughter named one of the kittens "kernal")
I’m thinking to myself as I walk through the door...God I will do my duty with this person but I’m only going to be here 15 minutes and that’s it! I will call Hospice in the morning and ask them for another patient. This is just NOT me. ( You can do that at anytime..be removed from a case if you don’t fit in)
I walk into this home with the aroma of homemade hamburgers and homemade onion rings cooking (mmmmm....delicious smell..they did ask me to dine with them but I politely refused) and there sitting in the kitchen staring blankly out of the patio doors is a little minuscule grey haired lady. I’m speechless and I don’t know what to do so I introduce myself "Hi I’m Sharlene, a Hospice Volunteer and I’ve come to visit with you".
She stares at me and her daughter decides to inform me that her mother didn’t want this but that she herself did because her mother was lonely. I’m thinking OMG I’m here under protest.
I look at the little lady searching for some conversation to break the ice and I ask
"Miss Lizzie what do you like to do?"
and she says "Nothing!".
I smiled and said "Perfect! Because that’s what I do best!"
And the rest is history.
Ms Lizzie, the daughter, the Great Dane and all the animals were smiling when I left but most of all I had the biggest smile on my face because God has blessed me with knowing a family that is wonderfully different from me but none-the-less beautiful and I judged them prematurely and HE in all of his wisdom sent me exactly where I needed to be. Her daughter told me that I was exactly what her mother needed and Ms Lizzie decided she wanted to do nothing with me again next week. :)
And they thought I was 25.....so with that kind of compliment how could I not agree to go back?