by Kathy Wilkie
“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
This was not my exact thought on that July evening when I opened my eyes to discover I was sitting on the couch in my apartment with a room was full of uniformed paramedics, but it was real close!
I was nearly 45 years old. All at my own choosing, I had been spending about 75 hours a week working a full-time job (and then some), volunteering and taking care of the rest of the world. I was not taking care of myself with proper food, medicines and of course rest. My health caved in and I found myself flat on my back in the hospital for 2 weeks and unable to work for 2 months! This was the beginning of a journey that will continue until I reach Heaven.
On my first day in the hospital, a dear friend called and asked me, “What can I do for you that no one else can/will do?” After giving this some thought I asked for a basket of snacks, candy and treats to have in my room to give out to the staff and visitors. I remembered that my college teacher, Mrs. Marlene Evans, had done the same when she was hospitalized. It set a welcoming, homey and almost festive spirit in her room! Besides she had plenty of staff coming and going to grab a snack so she hardly used her call button!
This is exactly what my friend did for me! She kept it stocked the whole 2 weeks and even posted a sign outside my room door – “All staff and visitors…come on in and grab a free snack!” It was so much fun! I was able to “feed” several nurses and even had a young teen (who was nervous about hospitals) visit with her grandparents. She filled her pockets with a stash that she could share with friends and left my room smiling!
Lessons I Learned:
- I learned that I must slow down my life. I was trying to be Super Woman without caring for my health. Looking back, I see that my Heavenly Father was allowing me to fail in my ability to work and serve at such a pace. Please consider slowing down before something happens. My life, my family and friends have all benefited because of my “slowing down”. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: …”
- Ask an open-ended question. My friend asked the question with a purpose. It wasn’t just, “What do you need?” or “What can I do for you?”. By her asking a purposeful question, I knew she wanted to come to my aid as only she could. Her question made me feel loved and secure enough to tell her the truth. Jude 1:22 “And of some have compassion, making a difference:”
- Remember others during times of suffering. This mind-set has changed my life! Even though I was incapacitated, frightened and undergoing many tests (ya know those needle sticks and test preps are not fun!) I knew that once I returned to my room I could enjoy giving out my snacks! Luke 10:27 “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God…and thy neighbour as thyself.”