Hope the new year has started off well for everyone!
Inspiring People of 2015
Here we are, just a few days into the New Year!! We leave behind the old, and look forward to the new. 2015 was a year of change for many of us. Many of us lost loved ones. Others welcomed new babies into their families. There were weddings, and there were divorces. Some received devastating news from the doctor, while others received news of hope. The only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same. Whether good or bad, our lives can change in an instant.
2015 was a year of change for me, too. At the end of June, my co-workers and I were informed that our jobs were being outsourced to a national agency. We had the choice of going with the agency for a guaranteed position, but most of us elected to pursue other avenues. Fortunately, I was able to transfer into the position of medical scribe within the hospital system, allowing me to keep benefits, length-of-service, etc.
Not only did my job description change, but everything about my work day changed. I went from working at home in my PJs and fuzzy socks, sitting at a desk all day, to wearing scrubs and shoes, driving into the office, and standing on my feet all day. From working in solitude, to working with other people. This was perhaps the biggest change of all. Spending so much time alone had reduced even more the size of my world, and my small circle of friends and my family were pretty much the only folks I saw. Sadly, I had also become somewhat cynical through the years, finding it difficult to trust people, and not very willing to share my life with those outside my little world. I knew that changing jobs would have an impact on my life, but I never imagined how it would change ME.
Every year Barbara Walters has a special about the people she finds most fascinating, though her definition of fascinating is much different from mine!!! These past few months of working outside my home have exposed me to some very interesting people, both at the office, and people I’ve come across while out and about in public. Inspiring people. I’d like to tell you about a few of them.
One day I overheard an older gentleman speaking to another gentleman. He was talking about his wife, who is showing increasing signs of dementia, which, understandably, was very distressing for him. But I was touched to tears as I saw his face light up, and he said, “But, you know, every time I look at her, I fall in love all over again.” Now, if you’ve had any experience with someone with dementia, or Alzheimer’s, you know what a horrific disease it is, and how it can rob your loved one of their true personality. Sometimes they are not very lovable, and are difficult to be around. To hear this man’s declaration of love rocked me, and I will never forget his words. He inspires me to love, even when it is difficult to do so.
I heard the story of how an elderly, wheelchair-bound, legally blind woman was delivered from a debilitating fear of the dark. She told how God came to her in the form of light, and she felt Him say to her “Fear not, for I am with you always.” She was never afraid of the dark again. How profound – for one who is blind to be delivered of her fear of darkness. Her faith is real, and I felt it spill over into me. I am inspired to have faith that my God is with me always, and there is no need to fear.
I met a woman who is facing a terminal disease, and is running out of treatment options. She is so strong and positive. She lives every day to the fullest. Though her reality is harsh, and there are moments of understandable weakness, she pushes forward. She inspires me to be a better person, to make a difference in the world, and to be thankful each morning for another day in which to be alive.
Then there’s Andy, a patient at our office (name used with permission). I asked him if I could share his story, and he reluctantly agreed. I say reluctantly, because he is a humble man, not wanting attention drawn to himself. I don’t know much about Andy’s history or his personal life, but I look forward to learning more. He’s a long-time patient at the office, and it is obvious that everyone loves him. At one of his appointments, he told us about an award he had recently won. He was chosen at the state level for Caregiver Of The Year. He was selected from hundreds of candidates, and was honored at a very fancy reception, a stay at a luxurious hotel, a limo ride, a standing ovation, and was presented a token of appreciation by President Carter, and Rosalyn! What an honor for him! He was treated like royalty, and was shown great respect. He was so excited to share the news with us, and we were delighted to share in his joy!! One again, I found myself wiping my eyes while sharing in the joy of another. A few weeks later, he came by to tell us that he had been given the award for the Region, as well!!! It is wonderful to see someone recognized for their dedication and hard work. The job of caretaker is one of service, humility, and commitment. Andy is a servant, and is willing to do anything he can to help another person in need. He told me if there is ever anything he can do for me, all I have to do is call. I know he is sincere, and I know I could count on him. He is a true hero. He inspires me to have the spirit of a servant, and to show kindness to others.
Working outside my home has been a huge change, indeed. But the greatest change has come about inside of me, as I have met these incredible people beyond the walls of my home. I am finding goodness, kindness, and amazing strength in people, and my faith in humanity is being restored.
The people who inspire me would never make Barbara’s list. But the people who inspire me are real. And I am honored to know them. They help me to be a better person.
The New Year ahead is a blank canvas. Let’s do our best to paint a picture of inspiration for others. Happy New Year from my house to yours!!