Thursday, May 26, 2011
I had not originally planned to work in the field of geriatrics. On the contrary, it was the last place I would have seen myself. It wasn't the end of life I wished to witness, but the beginning. However, God, having other plans for my life, orchestrated me instead, into a job as a charge nurse at a nursing home. Once again I found that He knows me better then I know myself.
Over the years I have been the traveling companion of many who have reached their journey's end. It is one thing we cannot choose, the one guaranteed stage of life. It must happen to all of us, regardless of which roads we take in life. For some it ends in fear, past regrets haunting their final hours. For others peace, after long anticipation. Some with fight, and some with quiet resolve. So different is each person's journey through that final valley of life.
In the past I had always thought of it as a time of reconciliation, a time where families let go of past hurt, cried together, and forgave one another. But it does not always happen that way. It would sadden, and perhaps surprise you to know how many times an aide or a nurse was the only person sitting at the bedside of a fading life. What events, in a life deemed successful, would lead to such a lonely end?
In the world we live in today, and in every past generation in history, there has been a desire for status, accomplishment, and wealth. We strive to be financially stable, to hold a respectable job. We idolize those with power and envy those with fame. We're proud of our looks, our clothes, and our possessions, because they say something about who we are. Money speaks to us, and too often we let money speak for us.
Funny, though, how silent it becomes in the end. Not one word does it speak on our behalf, though we may have given everything of true value to get it.
"He was a wonderful father." "He was a terrible father." "She was never there for me." "No one could have loved me more." Stories told, and a life's journey summarized. What will your summary be? What are you doing now in your personal journey that is truly going to matter? What are you in pursuit of? And more importantly, what are you neglecting that you shouldn't?
My husband's grandfather's return of cancer was sudden and aggressive. At the time his symptoms were recognized he was given two weeks to live. I will never forget that day in his hospital room. Joining hands in prayer and in song were countless children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. No eye was dry as we celebrated the life of this poor, humble man. He left no great amount of money, but what he left was worth far more - a legacy of a love-filled, Christ-filled life, evidenced in the very lives that surrounded him that day. But, it wasn't the end that made the difference, it was the journey he took to get there.
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. - Ursula K. Le Guin
May God bless you!
Posted by Sarah at 6:02 AM