Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Place of Blessing

When I was little, I used to say I wanted to help people. I didn't really want to become a nurse, I just wanted to be there to care for people, to let them know that someone was looking out for them. So when a friend of our family asked if I wanted a job helping her dad get his meals, making sure he was safe, and getting into bed in the evenings, I said yes.

The first day I met him, I knew it was exactly where I wanted to be. He was so pleasant to be with and always had a smile on his face. Before I left that first evening, he had already told me he loved me.

As time went by I spent more hours with him. It started out with just time in the evening but then it increased to an hour around lunch time and slowly, as he needed more help with everyday needs, more hours would get added. It was so nice spending time with him. I enjoyed it but I think he enjoyed his time with me even more. His daughters would tell me that he would light up when I walked in.

During the year and a half I spent with him, I would think about him every day. Even on the days I didn't see him I would think about him, pray for him, and wonder if he was having a good day.

After his stroke, I watched him decline and I knew our time together was coming to an end. It was a sad time for me, but for him it meant leaving his tired, worn-out body and going home with the Lord. Up until the end he was so peaceful. It was hard for him to smile after the stroke but he would do his best to give me a smile anyway. I would sit by his bed and hold his hand for hours. He wouldn't want to let go.

When I think back to our time together, the days that were hard to enjoy because he wasn't feeling well or had trouble getting around aren't the things I'm going to remember. I'll remember all the good days and times we had together. I took a lot of those things for granted.

-- Almost every night after he was in bed we would pray together and then he would say he loved me and I would always say I loved him, too. Some nights he would ask if he could give me a kiss on the cheek; some nights I would give him a kiss on the forehead back.

--While we sat in living room, he'd be watching tv and I'd be reading or working on a craft project. Many times each night I would look up to see him watching me. Each time he would give me a big smile. I'd smile back and he'd return to watching television again. In the summers, he liked to watch baseball. I've never been a fan of sports but after watching game after game I started enjoying baseball and we'd talk about the Orioles games (his favorites).

--As he was eating his meals at the table, we would talk. We would talk about our families, our days, what kinds of food we liked and disliked. He always enjoyed talking about his daughters.

The day before he died, his daughters gave me a birthday card from him. The message on the front is exactly how I feel about him.

There is a place of blessing
where laughter comes easy
and hard times are shared,
where kindness is valued
and love never spared,
a sweet place of comfort
that's caring and true;
a place to thank God for
my time spent with you.


The best year and a half of my life was the time spent with him. He gave me so much. Taught me so much. Loved me so much. There will be days where the hurt of not having him here will be great, but being with his Lord and Savior is much better for him. And one day I'll see him again.


Joy and grief were mingled; but there were no bitter tears: for even grief arose so softened, and clothed in such sweet and tender recollections, that it became a solemn pleasure, and lost all character of pain.
Charles Dickens

15 comments:

Joanne Mitchell said...

What a beautiful tribute, Kati.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Kati,

This is so beautiful. You've touch my heart and I have tears streaming.

I am thankful for your beautiful sweet spirit that allowed you to be the hands and feet of Jesus in his life. I know you will hurt and miss him, but what a precious reunion you will have!

Deanna

Balisha said...

I was reading your Mom's post today and came to see what she was talking about. I'm so glad that I made a visit....what a touching post. He was a lucky man to have had you care for him...and you were lucky too....to be able to make a difference in someone's life...who needed you.
Blessings,
Balisha

Donna said...

This was so beautiful it made me cry. Bless you for the joy you gave him. I know it was reciprocated. You were doing angel duties!

Vee said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing from the heart...what a blessing you were to him and how precious that he was a blessing to you. Lovely affirmations of faith, Kati. Add me to the list of readers in need of a tissue.

happywonderer said...

Beautiful Kati. It seems you have been gifted with compassion, mercy and service. How sweet to see the blessing you were to each other...

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a beautiful post, it touches and inspires hearts.

FlowerLady

Kathy said...

I am so touched with this post. You two were a blessing to each other. What a blessed hope to know it's not the end but you will meet again.

Debbie said...

I popped over from your mom's blog and I am soo glad I did. What a tender, touching story. What a blessing you were to him, and in turn he was to you. I honestly believe this is what real Christianity is all about. I loved reading about this, and like others it moved me to tears. With a heart like yours I wonder who the Lord will put in your path next? You were truly His hands and feet. Blessings to you, Debbie

Debby Ray said...

Oh Kati...what a special relationship this was for you and thanks so much for allowing your mom to share this with everyone. It sounds like you have been given a very special gift of serving others and this precious man was so blessed to have you serve him in his last days. God bless you.

podso said...

His memory and all you learned from him will always be with you. What a treasure. You expressed it all so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kati--All I can say is Wow!!!! Your post was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. You've encouraged me to look at the time I visit my mother-in-love in the nursing home in a very different light. I am very grateful!!!

Cranberry Morning said...

You touched a lot of hearts with this heartfelt post, Kati. God puts people into our lives for a reason, and it is a joy to read of the sweet relationship you had with this dear man who God put in your path. You showed him the love of Jesus. You were a sweet vessel of blessing to him.

Ida said...

What a special post. God used you both in ways you probably weren't even aware of at the time. How awesome is that!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful Kati!! Thank you for sharing the loveliness of such a preciously treasured relationship. God is so very kind to allow such opportunities. tammyp