Just when I thought I was helping someone..

Yesterday I was on fire in the morning, I was consumed with the idea of helping someone else. This is a normal thought for me in the mornings, through helping others I’ve found that my serenity is easier to achieve.
Yesterday however I was inclined to shout it out, on both my personal Facebook page and my SoberJulieDoingLife pages I wrote the following status:
 Grab this day by the throat and shake out all of the happiness possible by helping someone else.”
 I also tweeted it and received quick responses supporting the thought.
Earlier in the week, I had heard that two ladies from my 12 step program were in the hospital. I don’t know these women very well but planned to go and spend some time visiting them.
Amazingly my husband was off work for the day (as is typical I’d forgotten this) and so I didn’t need a babysitter.
I had been entertaining visions of my 7&5 year daughters having wheelchair races up the halls and creating general havoc during our visit.

Off I went, very relieved that I would be able to focus, and I decided to stop along the way at my friend’s florist shop. I picked them up the cutest Gerber daisies with a happy face on them, they use berries, googly eyes and pipe cleaner. When I was in the hospital years ago someone brought me one and it brightened my day, so now I bring one to each person I visit.
**names have been changed**
When I arrived at the hospital I headed to the wing of the building I had been told they were in. I approached the nurse at the desk and asked to see Gail and Mary. The apparently very busy nurse stared me directly in the eyes and asked for their last names in a very snotty voice. I wasn’t being defensive here folks, she was seriously irritated by me. There I stood, holding the flowers with my enthusiasm deflating in the face of this nasty response and I realized that I had no idea what their last names are.

Politely I told her that, I offered to tell her what their ailments are and their arrival dates but alas this uber condescending nurse didn’t think that could help.
In that moment I was livid inside, didn’t this nurse know that I was trying to help another human, that this was my serenity she was messing with??? How bloody dare she act as thought she couldn’t help me!!!

Taking a deep breath and offering a tight smile, I began to thank her for her time and head to the information station when a cleaning woman came over to me and loudly informed me that there were no patients in that wing named Mary or Gail. She suggested trying the G wing.

In the G wing the nurses were super helpful, they also wanted a last name but when I explained that I didn’t know them there was no ice wall in my face. They simply checked the roster, there was no Gail but they directed me to Mary’s room.

I was beginning to feel a bit better, my helping another person vibe was back! Mary wasn’t in her room, her roommate told me she was in the dining room and that she would love the flower. That she didn’t have visitors and it would make her day. I decided not to wait for her and left it on the window, asking her roommate to let her know I hoped she was feeling better.

On my way out a nurse gestured to a woman slowly making her way down the hall in the wheelchair and said “there’s Mary now”. I went over to Mary and as I got closer to her I was thinking how changed she was. She has Lou-Gehrig’s disease and I hadn’t seen her in about a month so it wasn’t until I heard her speak that I knew it wasn’t the Mary I was looking for.
GASP right???
Now what?
I greeted this Mary and let her know I hoped she was doing well and that I hoped she had a great day.

And I bolted outta there!

I wasn’t about to take back the flower that the nurses and her roommate had seen me put in her room. Just because I’m a dumb ass doesn’t mean that I want everyone to realize it.

And so I went to the last wing, found the correct Mary and Gail and had very nice visits with each of them.
When I told Gail the story she laughed her head off. She has heart issues and I was frightened she was going to blow a valve or something when she spit her water out, laughing at me.

Her amusement was fantastic, she’s a very special woman to me……just the type of gal who can get away with telling me I’ve had lipstick on my teeth for an hour, but she hadn’t told me because it was entertaining to her.

As I’ve said, my intention yesterday had been to Grab this day by the throat and shake out all of the happiness possible by helping someone else.”

Instead God grabbed me by the throat and shook out all the happiness I could give to someone else by using a stranger. Unintentionally I’d put a smile on a strangers face, given someone a lovely flower to enhance her hospital room, been polite and friendly to a nurse having a bad day, chatted with a cleaner and expressed my gratitude, spoken with a woman who is a very friendly roommate, spent time with Mary whom I didn’t know well and finally given my friend Gail a reason to laugh her head off at me.

That’s what I call a GREAT day.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

AA 24 Hour A Day – Meditation for the Day

Learn daily the lesson of trust and calm in the midst of the storms of life. Whatever sorrow or difficulty the day may bring, God’s command to you is the same. Be grateful, humble, calm, and loving to all people. Leave each soul the better for having met you or heard you. For all kinds of people, this should be your attitude: a loving desire to help and an infectious spirit of calmness and trust in God. You have the answer to loneliness and fear, which is calm faith in the goodness and purpose in the universe.

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17 Responses

  1. Absoultely amazing story! Thank you for sharing! You definitely presented an awesome example of "loving your neighbor" :)"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

  2. That's a whole lot of activity in such a short period of time! As you described it, I felt like it played out like a Seinfeld episode. Except in Seinfeld, George or Elaine would be trying to find a way to get the flower back.

  3. Wow, talk about looking on the bright side and seeing all of the good in a situation! God really showed so many positive results from what could've been a bad day…thanks for sharing. :-) And thanks for sharing love around town, that rocks.

  4. We never know what is in store for us each day. That's why it's so neat to just open yourself up to the day and see where you may end up. I love the story and the fact that you were led to make "Mary's" day happier by walking into the world with the decision to give that day. p.s. I catch you on Twitter too.

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