16-Focus on others... magic!
Being in a "bubble" with every thought focused on Bri and the challenges surrounding her may have seemed like the right place to be, but after seeing how my laser focus kept me from seeing the bigger picture, I decided to STOP! And by that I mean, everyone at the hospital had challenges and hardships, no one was here for a relaxing "getaway"... OH HOW I WISH. I knew I needed to stop thinking about me and look for others each day that I could reach out to. I truly wanted to know others stories, hear their struggles and somehow find ways to help ease their burdens, as others have done for us.
On one of my many walks back into the Neuro ICU, I noticed a woman in the hallway which separated the Neuro ICU and the Respiratory ICU. I stopped and started up a conversation, she told me that she was here with her sister who was sick and that she was headed in to paint her toenails. She said it should be the one place that will look pretty even with her hospital gown. She said it felt like it was that little something she could do to pamper her sister just a little. Small things in a place like this feel so big to those who feel alone and unsure of what will come next.
As I found her the next day, we talked and she told me that her sister wasn't doing well, that the machines seemed to be the only things keeping her alive. She seemed weighed down with worry and uncertainty, understandably. As we hugged in the hall and as I tried to console her, the fact that we were strangers seemed to melt away into tears of understanding.
As I entered the area the next day, I saw her standing nearly lifeless in the hall with her head hung low and tears in her eyes, she looked up at me and I knew. In that moment, she knew that I understood what happened. We hugged again and talked through our many tears. Memories like this one, so heartfelt, two women understanding ones grief and ones pain will be one that I will cherish in our short and brief journey together, one that has changed me forever and gave me a great appreciation for the smallest glimpse of progress we saw in Bri.
My challenge to you is to look beyond yourself, your needs, your sorrows, you struggles and find those whom you can help or ease their burdens... who else needs you?