I wonder what they might be thinking as they face
the last precious moments of their lives.
Roxie, my canine companion, and I have the honor to make pet therapy rounds at Community Hospice and Palliative Care. As with the other places we visit (here and here, for instance), Roxie brings smiles and starts conversations with every person she meets. Every. One.
I stand to the side and observe, happy to see the joy that a belly rub can bring. (That is, a belly rub for Roxie. The people are on their own when it comes to that. 😊) At the end of our rounds both of us have tired paws and renewed appreciation that comes with being allowed to serve our community.
Our hospice visits have brought the same feelings along with a deeper introspection on my part. We meet patients (nearing the end of their life’s journey) as well as their families and friends. Once again, smiles and conversations occur—sometimes through tears. The patients often talk about dogs they had or have. Happy times. Joyful memories. Other times they speak about hobbies or sports teams. Again, fond remembrances. Love for what they have had and still have in their lives. They thank us for stopping by their rooms for what will probably be the last time we will see them.
And each time I wonder.
Video Recommendation for the Week.
Recorded in 2010, “Love My Life” reflects on looking back–and looking ahead. (The link: https://youtu.be/_GeJKoEHgts) The late Rick “Hurricane” Johnson provided the keyboard for this track. We were fortunate to have his insights in the studio.
I wonder what they might be thinking as they face the remaining precious moments of their lives. What do they see in their mind’s eye? What memories resonate? What do they see as their legacy? What did they not do that, if they had time, they would go after? What did they do that brings a smile to their soul? Would they do anything differently? What lessons did they learn and what advice would they proffer?
I wonder, “What is the story their eyes are telling?”
Do we need to wait until the end of the ride to evaluate the experience? In their way, those eyes that Roxie and I see tell us not to wait. Examine the doors, paths, and choices in front of us, and act.
Last week I rediscovered a song I wrote for my Find Your Happy Place! CD. “Love My Life,” has a young man seeking counsel from an elder.
What do you regret?
If you could do it over
What would you forget?
The old man smiles, shakes his head, and reminds us that life is up to us. There will be regrets and there will be satisfaction. Simply,
Life can be filled with rain
And heartache and pain
Or it can be days of fun
With blue skies and sun
You can be at war with yourself
But don’t blame someone else
Because whatever you believe
That is what will be…
…Young man you see
It’s you who holds the key
Not as hard as it seems
To live a life of your dreams
So, do we hold the key? If we do, do we use it to open the doors in front of us?
Make it a wonderful week and HTRB has needed.
You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
You can find my podcasts (all fifty episodes) here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2022. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Atlantic Beach, Florida