June 13, 2014

Thank You, A Smile and Simple Words of Kindness Go A Long Way

This week I had the joy of spending some time ministering to a dear friend who suffered a miscarriage over the weekend.  That time included a day in the hospital where I stood in for her precious husband as her advocate and comforter.  This is the first time I've been back to that hospital  since Addison was born.  It triggered a lot of memories.  While we were there, I had a unique opportunity which again reminded me of the many complex ways God ministers to our hearts and puts people in our paths. 

Go back with me to the day after Addison was born.  I believe I have adequately shared the less than positive experience we had surrounding Addison's birth and his care while we were in the hospital following delivery.  You can read more about it here.  When Addison was a few hours old the pediatrician came to our room and told us she suspected Addison had Down Syndrome.  She recommended having blood drawn for a Karyotype. 

A Karyotope is a type of genetic testing at the chromosomal level to diagnosis a number of genetic disorders.  In this case a sample of blood is drawn and under a microscope scientists line up chromosomes by size to determine how many of each chromosome a person has.

By the time we met up with the hematologist we were exhausted both emotionally and physically.  We had not, nor would we encounter, a positive doctor or member of the nursing staff before we were discharged from the hospital.  We were confused and unsure what to feel or think about our future.  As we waited in the nursery for the blood draw I recall thinking about how this moment would change our lives forever. 

At just over 7 pounds Addison seemed so very tiny.  And even though they had called in the lady known to be the best for difficult draws, Addison's tiny veins and hypotonia proved to be a great challenge for her and the back up hematologist she called in.  The ladies worked on him forever with one vein after another blowing and collapsing.  It took nearly 90 minutes to get the necessary sample.  The patience and kind words of the sweet woman working on Addison were the only loving or kind words we heard from the time he was born up until we left the hospital.  When she was finished she picked Addison up and cuddled him for some time.  This meant so much to me.  I am not sure I ever knew her name before this week, but I have often seen her face in my memories this last year.

While I was in the hospital with my friend, she needed a lab drawn that only one person was qualified to do.  As she pulled back the curtain and walked into the room I was momentarily stunned.  There stood the very same woman who had taken care of Addison a year ago.  Once I got my footing again, I was so excited to have an opportunity to thank her for her kindness to me and my son.  I couldn't wait to tell her how many times I had thought of her and how she had touched my heart.  Even though she remembered us after we talked for a few minutes, at first she didn't even know who we were.  Which tells me her kindness and warm smile are just part of her normal run of the mill life. 

Which is how it should be.  We should always go out of our way to be kind to others in all we do.  Because we just never know how it might minister to someone else's heart.  If you are used to going around with a stern look and finish your job to get out as quickly as possible this may at first seem like a great effort.  But when you make it a way of life from your job to the grocery store and beyond it becomes as second nature as breathing. 

And you know, just one more thing, I know it isn't always possible but when you can, going out of your way to thank those people who extend kindness blesses their hearts as much as their love blessed yours.  When I was talking this lovely woman's face literally lit up.  Her smile went from ear to ear and she in turn thanked me for sharing with her.

At the time we first met, I didn't realize how much Victoria's simple actions would minister to my heart.  And honestly I was in so much of a daze, I don't know if I would have thought to say anything to her.  I am so grateful to the Lord for giving me, through my dear friend's heartache, an opportunity to say thank you.

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