Saturday, May 23, 2009

I have a bit of wisdom I'd like to share with you this afternoon. Nothing earth-shattering or new here , but maybe something we need to be reminded of once in a while.

If you are blessed enough to still have grandparents (or an elderly aunt or neighbor or anyone at all that's older than DIRT) in your life, you may not realize how lucky you are. Are you aware that here aren't that many WWII vets around these days? Or people who grew up during the Great Depression and remember what it's like to truly have to make do with very little. They may be getting around slowly now, but our elders have so much to offer still...lessons learned, stories to tell, love to share. You know what it takes to make them smile the most? Spend a little time with them and really pay them some attention. Let me share a little story about how much a few minutes of actually LISTENING can mean to an elderly person.

Most of my extended family uses the same Family Doctor. (This can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because if there's some illness or predisposition that runs in the family, the doctor will already know. On the other hand, he knows all the crazy people in the family, too!) Anyway, back to the story. Our doctor had been caring for members of my family for probably close to 25 or 30 years. From my grandparents on down. Five years ago, he retired and moved away. Ugh...devastation!! Utter horror! When you're attached to a doctor it's hard to find one to replace him. In fact, I didn't find a new one. I pretty much just waited around hoping he'd come back!

Fast forward to now. HE'S BACK! My grandparents were thrilled, but since he opened his practice about 30 minuted from his old location, they didn't think they'd be able to see him. In the meantime, Grandaddy's been seen at the Veterean's Hospital where he's basically one of many and treated as nothing special. He's 88, he's weak, he doesn't sleep well, he doesn't eat well and he worries. But at the VA, they check him over, hand him a prescription and send him on his way. He was being taken care of, but not CARED for.

Until yesterday! Yesterday I took him to the FAMILY DOCTOR! His old buddy. Oh, you would have thought he was a child getting ready to sit on Santa's lap! His wrinkled old face lit up when the doctor walked in the room! And the doctor hugged him and patted him on the back and told him how great he looked! Then he sat down and listened.

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