Friday, March 13, 2009

When in Doubt-Give love out

This past week, my father-in-law experienced a health crisis. A great doctor's visit Monday morning and moments after arriving home he suffered a stroke. Thursday morning, news that rehab is next-and waiting.

My father-in-law is now reaping the benefits of acute physical therapy and I expect him to recover well. Depending on the day and the moment, this week could be described as long, hard, sad, upsetting, uncertain or maybe unfair. It could also be described as a blessing, a new journey, a learning experience, God in action,or love.

It is not my intent to take away whatever feelings my husband and his family have experienced. It is only my intent to share something amazing that has come to me- and that is a sense of peace.

I believe it was August 2008 that I watched an Oprah interview with Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain scientist who wrote about her own stroke experience as both a patient and a scientist. I immedaitely went out and bought her book. The book is a remarkable read from many, many perspectives. Recently, I lent my copy of the book, My Stroke of Insight, to a neighbor who is experiencing the same electricity I did as I read it. A few days later, I got the call that my father-in-law had suffered a stroke.

The book did not come immediatley to mind. However, many things Jill had explained about her experience sprang forth as I watched people interact with my father-in-law. I hope the lessons she shared will allow me to respect my father-in-law's right to rediscover himself with unbending support from those around him. I am eager to listen to what his wishes are-his voice waivering a bit or hesitating slighly. I call forth compassion for his frustrations and worries about his wife.

I think the peace I feel comes from having read the book before experiencing stroke from the outside looking in and from the effort Jill put into writing this book as a means of understanding from a patient's view. I truly beleive this is one way that my father-in-law can receive the love, caring, compassion and respect he gives to others without thought.

Although everyone is experiencing change thrust upon them without warning or notice, I urge you to keep in mind that blessings come in all types of packages and do not always come wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons. When you face doubt and fear, try following the example my father-in-law has shown to me in his every day life:

GIVE LOVE OUT

Plenty more will come back to you to be given out again.

In gratitude for all I have been given and all I have to give,

Coach Renee

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