Hands of LoveRegister Today!
- by White Shoes Dec 24, '08Some time ago, I was called to a dementia unit to help with the residents living there. It was a busy night for the staff, and they were all trying to give quality care for these folks... yet there was a problem. They couldn't safely give care to everyone who needed it because there was one particular lady who was very confused and had an exceptional case of restlessness that evening. She would try to wander continually except for brief 3-5 minute periods where she would fall asleep in her chair, only to awaken and try to walk again. Recently, though, her health had declined and she could no longer ambulate independently. The staff just wasn't able to offer the one-on-one care she required and still meet the needs of the other residents. I came down to the unit specifically to stay with this lady for the sake of her own- and the other residents'- safety.
As the evening progressed, I remember at one point holding this dear soul's hands in mine as I walked backwards and faced her as she shuffled along. I had taken care of her before, but never heard her speak a word, and really doubt that she could even see very well, if at all. She never gave any response when I spoke to her... the only thing that indicated that she ever knew someone was with her was that occasionally in the past if she happened to touch my hand, she would grasp it and bring it to her lips and give it a tender kiss. It seemed that the only thing that mattered any more to this frail dear was human contact and love.
So at that moment, as I had her hands in mine, I pondered her life. Who was she in years past... who did she love, who were the ones who had loved her??? Suddenly I was overwhelmed with a feeling that this woman was very, very precious to God. Although her life here on earth seemed to be only a confused wandering anymore, in God's eyes she was absolutely precious. His treasure. I remember gazing at my patient's gnarled frail hands with a sense of awe much like I have experienced when I first saw my own children's tiny fingers when they were born. I found myself filled with a sense of honor to be able to take care of this woman in the closing days of her very long life.
Little did I know that she would die unexpectedly a few days later. Indeed, I was one of her last caregivers.
Since that day, I have truly appreciated the tender moments of frailty I have witnessed with the elderly. Whether I am removing their stockings or helping them brush their teeth or transporting them through the hall in a wheelchair, I am honored to have the opportunity to take care of people who are so precious to God Himself. It's with the love that I sensed that evening as I held this dear lady's hands that I drew this picture. The man’s hands represent Jesus' own, tenderly caring for the lives and hearts of the frail and needy... for anyone who, indeed, cannot even care for themselves.
I hope this is a blessing to you.
Jyvonne (White Shoes)
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APA Style Citation
White Shoes. (Dec 24, '08). Hands of Love. Retrieved Thursday, Jun 20, 2013, from http://allnurses.com/showthread.php?t=357661
- Dec 24, '08 by LaneRNWhat a wonderful inspirational story. This is the way I felt with the patients in my LTC clinicals.
- Dec 25, '08 by statphleb SNMy Grandma just recently passed away--she had dementia--we choose to keep her at home and take turns caring for her----i know that not everyone can do this--it is a huge responsibility---so i am so glad there are kind-hearted people out there like yourself who are caring and loving to other peoples Grandma's----Thank You!!!!!:angel2:
- Dec 28, '08 by rhondaa83I work in LTC and feel this way everyday. It seems that so many people forget that they will some day be old.
- Dec 29, '08 by JLSNRNThat was a beautiful story. I have taken care of the elderly for years . I am now retired and am now considered elderly, I guess. I have fond memories of holding their hands and feeling priveleged to have been a comfort to them. I love the drawing of Jesus hands holding the frail weak hands..Thank you for kindling the memories..
- Dec 30, '08 by lymphnodeThat was God's gift to you, whiteshoes. I too have many fond memories of the same circumstances that will last a lifetime. thankyou.
- Dec 31, '08 by VivaLasViejasA blessing it is indeed...........what a poignant and beautiful piece you have written here!
As many people here know, I'm partial to the elderly as well, and have received countless spiritual gifts over the years that I've cared for them. You articulated this sort of exchange in such a tender way that I needed three tissues to get the tears under control. Masterfully written..........well done.
- Jan 1, '09 by diane227My favorite patient came back into the hospital tonight. He has recurrent pneumonia and he just seems to be sick all the time. He is 99 years old. He just celebrated his 80th wedding anniversary with his wife. He is fully awake and alert and has not lost his sense of humor but he is very weak. I know he is going to die soon, perhaps on this admission. I hope I will be able to be with him when he goes. He deserves to have someone with him when he passes.
- Jan 6, '09 by nursienurse58White Shoes, you awakened my soul, Thank You! I have been out of work now for 3 months and had forgotten my feelings as a nurse. I had many moments such as this, and I don't know how I had let them go astray. Maybe the stress of being unemployed..who knows. You were given this gift, and I can see you will always treasure it, as you should! Now you have passed the gift on to others..God Bless
Thank You, I needed to remember.
- Mar 18, '09 by Wendy_LeebovWow, thanks for sharing this story. You have so much compassion, and so much to give. She was so lucky to be a party to your healing hands and heart.