Trusting Others and Learning How to Serve

by flowers on February 2, 2011 · 12 comments


My Nana is in the hospital and people are taking care of her. The quality of her care is a matter of life and death. Her moments seem more important now that she’s here.

I am mother. Now I know what it means to take care of someone twenty-four hours a day, seven days of week. And I know how to do that with my heart on my sleeve and my ego run-over in the humility of serving another. Everyday I wipe bottoms and kiss tears.

I feel the compassion that comes from the act of serving our children.

Caring for another human being.

From this place I feel immense gratitude for those whose hands take care of others; people they don’t even know. I’m too far away to visit in these moments and I have to put my trust in faraway people whose names I don’t even know.

I hope there is someone at work today, on duty in a darkened wing of a hospital floor in the middle of a blizzard, who is loving on my little nana. I hope they can see her–really see her and recognize this beautiful moment of her life where her body aches and she breathes to live.

She is a living altar of little moments.

Jazzercising to Jane Fonda in her leotard with her six year old granddaughter. I can’t remember the year or even what day of the week it was. In those days life was one big expanse of experience: colors were so alive and the moments you spent with people, the ones who really opened their child-selves to you were like magic: life enhanced.

She is one of those people to me. She’s been there my whole life, smiling at me. Loving on me.

Today I’m loving on my kids with a little more compassion and a few more token moments of patience because their moments are just as sacred. Before I can blink they’ll be off in the world too big to need me, but these little moments add up to counting for a whole lot. I hope when they’re old, really, really old and I’m gone, that someone is there to care for them with love and patience.

I wish I could do that for my Nana right now, but instead I have to trust in a stranger to care for her the way I would my own baby daughter.

To the people who are watching over her tonight and taking care of her broken body, please love her. For me.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith February 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Its a difficult thing, to learn to have to let go and let others care for our loved ones. Know that the people caring for her have studied and practiced for years, to give your Nana the best care possible! Having been on the other side for some time now, I often try to think of my patients like my own memere, and treat them with the compassion, love, dignity, and respect that they so deserve. Those battling the weather, are there because they love what they do and choose to care for the precious lives of others. Take solace in the fact that she is in experienced, capable hands, and that I’m sure she knows you are thinking of her! Blessings to you and your family!


flowers February 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Faith, thank you so much for this. I really appreciate your words.


Kate February 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Oh Hillary, another beautiful piece of writing. I’m sending so many loving thoughts to you, your nana, and the people caring for her. ((((HUGS)))


Zanna February 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

(((Hugs))) to you and lots of good vibes to your Nana and the wonderful people I know are caring for her.


Kelly February 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Love this! So true and beautiful. I think sometimes we all forget that the people we come in contact with- even for a moment- have loved ones and stories and pasts and presents that are special. That they are special and deserve to be treated as such.


Alison @ Bluebirdmama February 3, 2011 at 12:42 am

What a beautiful post. Thinking of you and your family tonight…and holding my own grandparents in my heart too.


Rachael February 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

Many, many blessings to you and your Nana. xox


erin February 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

catching up here and sending lots of love to you and your nana!!!
love + light…


Amber February 7, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Sending lots of good energy to your Nana and her caregivers. And to you, too.


Stacy (Mama-Om) February 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

So beautiful… I read this post so many days ago and starred it because I wanted to comment when I had the chance. What a gift I gave myself, to read it again.

Much love to you and your Nana.



flowers February 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Thanks Stacy :-)

I appreciate you coming back to comment.

She’s actually out of the hospital now and doing a little bit better. She has a serious illness, but for right now she’s home and feeling better.


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