Daniela Ginta writes for the Armchair Mayor News on Fridays.
COLUMN — At first I thought I’d write about canoeing at Horseshoe Lake, because it was memorable in that kind of nature-soothing way. It was late afternoon on Monday and the sun was coaxing water lilies out of the water. It was peaceful and beautiful and the sunset was to be grateful for.
Then Tuesday came and, as life sometimes has it, the day got fragmented into ugly bits before the sun was properly up in the sky. My husband broke his leg following a 10 ft. fall on concrete and there were more than enough bone fragments in his lower leg to make a troublesome puzzle out of it. Pain redefined.
Emergency services we relied on when my youngest had his last asthma attack showed up promptly and their service was once again commendable. Moreover, one of the paramedics whom we got to know better after the asthma trouble was on call that Tuesday morning as well. Seeing a familiar face made things better, my husband said afterwards. Talk about a small enough place to live in.
By the time I reached the hospital not knowing where to look, the day had various people lined up in the ER hallway, each with aches and troubles of their own.
If you happen by the ER looking for a loved one and there is a lineup, chances are you might have to stand in line for that one question concerning whereabouts, and that could take hours, unless someone kind enough understands the urgency of it and helps you look. Someone did that for me. It made a world of difference. Thank you is not enough, I’ll have to pay it forward, I thought then.
One of the ER nurses I got to talk to briefly while waiting for my husband to be brought in, had a few silver bracelets that shone and sang a gentle song as she moved about.
‘They are beautiful,’ I said. She smiled and explained: ‘There is one for each important person on my life.’ In a few brief moments, she took me through a loving enumeration of people whom I felt as real as if they were sitting right there. It was the perfect place to have someone tell a story about loved ones.
We all carry loved ones with us, whether passed away or still alive. We have to, as that enables kindness.
The big world becomes smaller when people share bits of life and that feels right. It feels human at a time when human is the only way to go.
While being prepped for emergency surgery, another nurse talked about the time she spent in the Chilcotin, a couple of decades. She talked with love and appreciation of people and places and that was enough to take both me and my husband on a mental trip, away from the reality of badly broken bones.
Among machines whirring and instruments clanking, our minds could evade for a bit into a place that was beautiful in that nature-soothing way… A replenishment gift, offered with kindness by someone we hope to bump into soon and say it again: thank you. We might, because we live in a small enough place.
A couple of hours later post-surgery, and rather overwhelmed by the plastic lianas carrying hydration and pain relief to my husband, I sat by him trying to make sense of his medication-soaked whispers. I got to meet the two nurses who were to be in charge of him overnight. They carried the gift of kindness attached to their badges. Being professional is good. Being friendly on top of it made a big difference.
When mishap strikes, kindness should step forth. I like to believe that it does, every time, but truth is, sometimes it doesn’t. We need to rectify that. It’s in everybody’s best interest. We need to be helped as much as we need to help. Both allow for soul growth and we all know that’s the one thing we need to have more of as we go by in our rushed lives. Thoughtfulness.
It makes for a great gift when most needed. We need to make it commonplace.
It seems fitting that on the second day on my way out of the hospital I picked up a volunteer form. It crossed my mind more than one time: what if no one was there for my son or husband during the time they were in? So many people are in that situation. Just ask. Yet truth is, in a place small enough to have the same paramedic help both of my family members, no one should be left on their own when pain and worries reign supreme. Really, no one shouldn’t.
With a bit of time set aside by those able to, and many of us are, with smiles and stories to complement that, perhaps things can look better after all. Life happens, and sometimes it happens in a painful way, but in a small enough place things can be made better through kindness. I know this because I saw it happen.
If you can, I urge you to donate time and yourself to a good cause. Or simply be kind when you have an opportunity to do so. Someone in need is always a good cause and no one should go too far in search of kindness. Truth is, everyone is in need at some point or another. Relying on each other makes the journey worthwhile, so there should be no hesitation on either side… Let’s make it so.