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Compassion – the Gift to Give in Abundance

From the author: 1ooo Voices for Compassion is a group I recently joined. 1000voicesA bunch of writers wrote about compassion and caring to help make the world a better place. Little did I know when I signed up that it would be me writing about being compassion’s recipient. 

Read more from Connie McLeod on her blog.

compassion

My Mom was just accepted into hospice care. In the last two months my 86-year-old Mom’s mind has become as frail and fragile as her body. She lives in a nursing home and is well cared for. Hospice will provide another level of care. She’s been a drama queen and southern belle—a dangerous combination—who’s been feisty and smart, had a great sassy sense of style, and a wicked sense of humor. She now drifts in and out of lucid moments. In her hallucinations she is powerful, in charge, directing unseen people and telling them what to do. Her phone had to be unplugged last week because she called 911 from her bedside phone and told them she was being held hostage. I understand that in a way she is being held hostage by a body and mind that won’t act like she wants it to.

Morning
I was in the middle of an intensely busy workday when I got the call that Mom’s health had taken a sudden turn for the worse. I work for a woman’s specialty hospital; it is a compassionate place not only for patients, but also for employees. I was told to go be with my mother. I’m grateful that I work for an organization that at its very core understands the importance of family.

I was expecting a quiet day spent at Mom’s bedside. I knew what she needed most was my presence. What was unexpected was the flood of love and compassion that washed over both of us throughout the day. Not only did family come to visit, but also mom’s nurses, aides, social workers, administrators, and even the beautician came by to check on her. I got a tight hug from everyone whose life has been touched by Mom and they wanted to check on me too. I’m use to being the strong one and the decision maker. The concern for me left me tearful. I knew that I was being sent divine gifts and I embraced my tears and vulnerability with every hug I received.

Afternoon
I met with hospice after Mom’s nurses suggested a consult. The hospice nurse spent time going over the details of what hospice care is. I’ve always heard great things about hospice, but I was astounded to learn how much they also care for the patient’s family. I did not know they were there for me as well as my parent. The two nurses I met were the embodiment of warmth and compassion, even their voices were gentle and calming. They treated me as tenderly with their questions as they treated Mom when they examined her.

Evening
My daughter and her cat were boomeranging back home from living across town during all this. She plans to save her money and take off to follow her dreams in a few months. Between transporting carloads of stuff from apartment to home, she would stop to check on her Nana and me. We are both only children and both have close mother/daughter bonds. We have both been able to tell my mom how much we love her. Nothing has been left unsaid.

My daughter and I both realize that the next few months will be a special time for three generations to connect as we all transition to new chapters in our different, yet connected journeys.

By the end of the day, I knew that the time for my mom’s exit had not come. Mom was center stage yet again, surrounded by an audience telling her how much they loved her. She is not yet ready to leave the stage.

The Following Day
Mother Teresa said, ‘’do little things with great love.” Mom is feeling stronger and is more lucid today. She loves when I write about her on my blog. She takes great delight in hearing her own wild woman stories and she loves everyone’s comments. I’m going to read to her the stories of her life. It’s a small thing, but it’ll be done with great love.

Compassion - the Gift to Give in Abundance

I honor my maternal lineage: I am Connie Lee, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae; mother of Jade Lee-Mei.

Connie McLeod

Connie Mcleod is a: Creativity Coach, Greenview Designs; Art Director; Designer; Marketer; Blogger; Speaker and Group Facilitator; Foodie and Wine Lover; World Traveler

Pam

Sunday 29th of March 2015

This piece resonated with me. It was the compassion and kindness of others that allowed me to be strong during my mother's illness and eventual passing last year. I especially appreciate the response in my busy, hectic workplace - a boss who didn't flinch when for many months I took at least one if not two days off a week and coworkers who filled the gaps that left so that I could truly be with mom. You never forget those kindnesses or the people who give them!

Rena McDaniel

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015

What a great post! I take care of my mom as well and while she is physically great it is her mind that is going faster and faster every day. I so glad that you were shown such awesome compassion when you needed it. It's what makes the world go round.

Connie McLeod

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015

Blessings to you Rena for being your Mom's caregiver. It's very hard, but I am being given divine gifts that are as unexpected as they are compassionate.

Roshni

Monday 2nd of March 2015

So touching that people took a moment to show you some love! Loved this post!!

Connie McLeod

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015

Thanks Roshi, I have continued to be supported by people who really care for both my mom and me.

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