I’ve spent the last four days in hospital where Les has had his hip surgery and I’ve been watching the nurses and other staff too and their love and dedication to the people under their care. They’ve been endlessly patient, charming, sweet and tender, very occasionally showing just the right amount of tougher love – setting boundaries, encouraging people to push through their pain to regain just that next bit of movement that they thought was beyond them. Often the work seems repetitive – blood pressure every fifteen or thirty minutes, checking that intravenous drips are working well, shifting pillows, straightening sheets – but actually that’s only the surface stuff. What they’re really doing is dispensing love. I wonder if they’re actually aware of that… Some of them look tired and a bit jaded, but they’re still ding their job. Some of them seem to be totally un-phased by the hours they work. Some of them are occasionally a bit officious, but not often.
Late yesterday afternoon one of them ministered to someone who has been quite poorly post-operatively and she gently placed pillow under his arms, padded the space between his arms and the rails of the bed, patted around his bed with her hand as though she was tucking in a child, and all the time with a look of deep and gentle concern for this man she had never met until a few days earlier and was now caring for his most intimate needs. And he will leave well and she’ll start again with the next person who comes into that bed. He feel asleep while she was working with him and she gently spoke his name and kept him informed that she was still there and still needing to do things with him – check his cannula, change his intravenous fluid – and he opened his eyes just to register that he had heard and she smiled a gentle smile at him and he responded with just a slight movement of his lips and closed his eyes again, comforted by her presence.
How lucky we are to have such angels among us. Let’s be aware of the depth of love people show us every day. They may not say ‘I love you’, but their actions say it for them. Let’s be aware of that language and be grateful.