Earlier this year, as my mother was dying, we found ourselves spending a lot of time visiting the doctors at Sansum and Cottage Hospital.
The process of accompanying a dying person through the last months of their life is daunting and exhausting in the extreme. We were always intensely involved with making things as smooth and as easy as possible. Given the extreme nature of our ministrations, there was always an abundance of anxiety. Sometimes a lack of normal patience and forbearance made minor frustrations seem overwhelming.
My experience of all the medical workers and other patients and families at Sansum and Cottage, and at the Cancer Center, was an abundance of demonstrated kindness and compassion. Even the drivers around the area seemed to be more patient and forbearing. On many occasions, I was brought to tears by an unasked for kindness, whether it was affectionate banter between the Medical Technician at the Cancer Center and my exhausted Mother, or something as seemingly simple a smile as we wheeled her back and forth from the parking lot to one of her many appointments that continually yielded disappointing news.
Now when I drive up Pueblo, and the other streets around this area where so many of life's hidden but momentous events are taking place, I am slowing down, and finding patience for some of the seemingly goofy drivers who seem to be in another world. I remember how stressful every moment was, and I recoil at the idea that by my impatience, I might cause them additional discomfort in a day that is possibly one of the worst in their lives.
I find myself thinking about the many anonymous acts of generosity of which we were the benificiaries , and every transaction that was smoothed out and made more bearable by the kindness of strangers.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.