It was a rainy morning when I showed up at his door. My hair was frizzy from the humidity, I hadn’t showered, I was wearing sweats (which are ok per my caregiver dress code and some days this is the best perk in the world!) and I was having a long week. I felt kinda un-awesome.
It was still a rainy day when I left, three hours later. I looked exactly the same. But I felt amazing and awesome, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and there was a spring in my step!
Mr. B welcomed me into his home, we hit it off and he cheerfully chatted with me as I made breakfast. He made me sit down with him and eat. He constantly complimented me on everything, on how I looked, how great I was, how I just glowed, etc etc, and not in a kinda “creepy old man” way at all, just totally sweet. He shared some about how as a widower he missed his wife, and how his daughter was also going through cancer treatments and they talked on the phone often to keep each other’s spirits up. His love for them was clear.
I drove him to the hospital for his treatment. Nurses streamed in and out of his room, just wanting to see him, and he was constantly ready with a joke. It was obvious they loved him!
And yes, I kinda did too! Didn’t even take me the whole three hours to decide that if it were possible to go back in time and copy him and marry the copy, I totally would. I know, that sounds really weird… He was just that 1 in a million kind of man, folks! 😉 Anyway, it was a gift to be around him even just for a little while. He was so very others-first. Joyful. Encouraging. Humble. Funny. And so on.
That was about 2 years ago. I never saw him again, since I had only been filling in for his regular caregiver, but I think about him and that one day often. I remember it vividly. I found out this week that he died last month.
“Just” three hours. Three hours slip by fast as anything, most of the time. I pray that I will not view them that way, taking for granted the possible significance. How many people could be around me for 3 hours, and walk away from it that impacted? Something I’m thinking about this Tuesday.