Thursday, June 13, 2019

Am I Kind?

“What are other ways you can think of to show kindness?”

Last week my father was admitted to a VA Hospice Facility in Riviera Beach, Florida. From the minute he was headed to the facility, there were unlimited kindnesses shown to us.

As we traveled a long distance to be with my father on the day my stepmom died, I was notified that they would be admitting him to this facility. Soon after that, Dr. Miller called to talk with me and let me know he was coming. She told me things and asked if I had any questions. I thought it was so kind that she would talk to me even before he arrived!

When we got to the facility, we were shown to my father’s room. We met the nurses who were cheerful and welcoming. We met the doctors, the social worker, and the chaplain also. Everyone seemed to care so much about my father and even us. It has a family atmosphere. I found their attitude that my father’s happiness was a priority to them very comforting.

On the morning after he arrived, they had a small ceremony where they presented my father with a certificate of appreciation, a pin, and a flag as a thank you for his service. It brought a big smile to his face!

One afternoon, we wheeled my father around the buildings in his wheelchair so he could explore areas. We found a recreation room where they have scheduled activities every day. The recreation therapist was so accommodating and brought my father a newspaper and a deck of cards.

When my father received some VA paperwork in the mail, the social worker said she would help take care of the paperwork for him. I thought this was so kind instead of just telling me how to figure it out! The social worker even helped us arrange for accommodations while we were there to see about my dad.

When we had to fill out tons of paperwork for my stepmom’s cremation, the funeral director said that she could email the forms to me and then I can get my dad to sign them. Once they were signed, I could take them to her. The only problem is that I received the email but had no printer. The wonderful chaplain let me forward the email to her and she printed off the pages so we could have my dad sign them and take care of the arrangements.

Every nurse who has helped care for my dad has been smiling and so upbeat. They seem to love their job and the patients they care for and you can tell that they are true to heart and not just doing this as an act.

We have met only kindness from so many strangers and it truly warms my heart.

Yet, as I look at these kindnesses, I start to look at myself and ask myself, “Am I kind enough?”

Do I show others this unconditional kindness that has been shown to me?

Have I stopped to take the time and see how I can help others before they have to ask for help?

Do I see a need that others may have but are afraid or don’t even know that they can ask for help?

I know that now I will be doing a better job of looking for ways to be kinder to others. I think this is something that you need to make an effort to do. I’m not sure that I’m as kind as I thought I was.

Thank you so much to the VA Hospice Facility in Riviera Beach! Y’all are awesome!

How have you shown kindness to others lately? Please share.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

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