Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To The Rescue

At our Branch Conference a few months ago the theme was "To the Rescue."
When I first heard the theme I had the words to a favorite hymn run through my mind:

Image result for Images Dear to the heart of the shepherd"Dear to the heart of the Shepard
Dear are the sheep of his fold
Dear is the love that he gives them
Dearer than silver and gold...


Over the mountains he follows
Over the waters so deep.

Dear to the heart of the Shepard
Dear are the lambs of his fold
Some from the pasture are straying
Hungry and helpless and cold.
See the good Shepherd is seeking
Seeking the lambs that are lost
Bringing them in with rejoicing
Saved at such infinite cost.

Out in the desert they wander
hungry and helpless and cold 
of to the rescue he hastens
bringing them back to the fold"

My mind has been flooded with many thoughts since that day but tonight and a couple experiences later I am finding myself ready to share my thoughts.

A couple of precious memories came into my mind from my hospice nursing season.
As a hospice nurse I found myself placed in some very tender moments.

I recently encountered a widow to one of the grand-pas I had sat with.  
Upon seeing me she quickly approached and with a grief stricken voice she shared with me how she continued to miss her husband and the heart-ache that she still carried. 
Then she cried out,  "Why does death have to be so final? Why couldn't God just say hello to my husband and then send him back to me!" 

Her anguish touched me deeply and I found my heart breaking along with hers.
I can't remember what I said but as we parted she squeezed my hand and thanked me and hoped our paths would cross again. 
 I hope my words in some small part gave her a little bit of comfort.

Another was an elderly man whom I got to sit with as he transitioned.

I spent my entire shifts sitting in his walker at his bedside so his hand could rest upon my knee. 
If I moved away he would start to panic. 
He holds a very special place in my heart.

I believe it was my second shift with him that he started grabbing at my arms and pulling himself towards me with sheer panic on his face. 
I was surprised and tried talking to him to see what was causing this fear. 
He pointed towards the ceiling and started crying out, "momma! momma!"

I smiled and asked him if he was seeing his mother?  
He quickly started nodding his head yes; as he continued to get as close as he could to me. 
I then asked if his mother was dead. 
Again he eagerly nodded his head.
I then shared with him that he was safe and explained that his mother wasn't here to hurt him and that she loved him and was anxious to see him. 
He then grabbed my hand and reached both our hands out I believe to his mothers extended hand.

I figured he would not be there for my third shift but when I arrived he was still lingering as if waiting for something.
His daughter came to visit and her and I started visiting. 
As we were visiting this gentle man turned his head towards us as if he were listening.

I can't remember what brought it up but this sweet woman started crying and shared with me that her only son had recently committed suicide.  
Tears immediately came to my eyes and an old familiar wound re-opened.
There were many tears shed and hugs were exchanged.  
As our conversation wound down she shared with me how grateful she was to have met me because for the first time she had met someone to whom she could talk about her son.
As she gave me a final hug I turned to see that her father had a smile upon his face. 
He then turned his head back to center and a short time later took his last breath in this life.

Tonight was the first time I had returned to what I affectionately call my "Suicide Survivors Group."
The last time I had been was just before my hysterectomy. 
Tonight there was only three of us.
Great joy filled my heart as I seen my friends smiling faces greeting me.

They shared with me an experience that had happened at last months meeting and how they had hoped I would come but I didn't make it.
There was a family who came who had a loved one recently decide to take his life.
They shared with me that when they got there they would not make eye contact, they just sat and cried.
As one friend observed, "they were a mess."

As each of my friends started sharing their survival story this family started to realize that there was light at the end of the dark tunnel they found themselves in.
By the end of the night everyone was hugging and there was a slight healing that had begun for this family.

My friends were hoping that they would come to tonight's meeting so that I could meet them and share my experience with them also but tonight they did not make it.  
My friends and I sat around and visited about what has been happening in our lives since the last time we had seen each other.

As our night came to an end hugs were exchanged and one of my friends as she wrapped her arms around me shared with me how glad she was to see me because she loved seeing my smile.
I then shared with her that it had been to long and that since I had my hysterectomy physically I felt better but I found myself dealing with some long buried emotions and now that I had grip on them I was ready to come back and enjoy our budding friendships and oneness.

Image result for images of sunrises and sunsetsAs I was driving home I witnessed the most beautiful blue sky turning pink and purple as the sun was setting on another day.  
I think it was a thank you gift from a loving Heavenly Father who wanted to let His children know that He was pleased with every small act of loving kindness as we each reached our arms out to those who are
 "out in the desert wandering hungry and helpless and cold."

To the Rescue for me has become very precious. 

I am so grateful to be surrounded by so many who with loving embraces and shared tears reach out to those whose road we have traveled and blessed are we to be able to share our beautiful sunrises and sunsets with those around us who in their grief only see the darkness.

Image result for images of sunrises and sunsetsMay we all share our smiles and hugs with those we come in contact with that each of us may bring a ray of sunshine into someones darkened world.

As a speaker once said, "We should be doing what our Heavenly Father would want us to do."