Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity, Spirituality and Health

You Never Know When Angels Will Appear!

Who’s watching over us? We all face challenges in our lives and there are times when we need someone looking over us. The amazing things is that the help you need may just appear because of some connection beyond our modern day explanations.

There was a news report this morning about a man in New Zealand that was doing a sixteen-mile charity swim. At one point during the swim a great white shark made its presence known to him and the team escorting him. This would be a scary time for anyone, but swimming with the possibility that you’re about to be attacked is either an incredible display of courage or stupidity. On the other hand, what if he knew or believed that he would be protected and simply continued swimming.

The next thing that was captured on the video was a school of ten dolphins that began to swim along and around the charity swimmer. These dolphins swam beside the swimmer escorting him through what could have been a treacherous ordeal. The great white shark left the area making it safe for the swimmer to continue his mission. Why did the shark leave? The explanation is that the shark couldn’t tolerate the noises made by the dolphins so the shark went to look for other prey.

The appearance of the dolphins couldn’t be scripted. There are those who may believe this was divine intervention. It could be considered a miracle, coincidence, or science. How it’s defined isn’t the focus of our dialogue; it’s the jumping off point for exploring who or what is protecting you on your journey.

Are there times when you’ve felt protected but couldn’t explain the circumstances? Are you aware of being protected? How do you manage those moments when you feel challenged or at risk?

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Posted in Caregiving

Angels in Training

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!

Why does it take catastrophe to get our attention?  We live in a crazy world and for some reason we believe everything should be smooth sailing.  We live with a false sense of security that can be breached at any moment, as you know so well.  The day your loved one was diagnosed with an illness the shattering began.

Taking on the role of caregiver/wellness partner is far greater than simply helping the person get through the day.  It reaches far past giving medication or transporting the patient to medical appointments.  It surpasses what many believe to be the status quo of compassion and understanding.  When you put all these together you get the qualities of guardianship, compassion, and love, all the things that make caregivers/wellness partners Angels-in-Training.

These actions are amazing when the person you’re caring for is a friend or family member.  When it’s someone you know there is a bit of expectation involved in the process.  What about if you didn’t know the person you were caring for, would it make a difference.

There have been studies that look at what happens to patients when they don’t know they are being prayed for by people they don’t know; isn’t that caregiving?  There are times when anonymous donations are made to individuals, families, even foundations to help those who need care, isn’t that caregiving?  Then there are the types of caregiving that put you in the trenches when tragedy strikes, testing your willingness to go beyond the call of duty.

This morning on NPR there was a human interest story on the survivors in Haiti.  The story was about a man whose family had survived the earthquake without death or major injury.  He feels blessed that his family was unharmed and they were all together.  Realizing that’s not the case for everyone he headed to a local make-shift hospital to sit with patients who didn’t have family members beside them.  I was moved by this angel-in-training’s ability to take such compassionate action in this great time of turmoil.  His ability to understand the importance of having someone who would support you through the darkest hours is the light that shines through.

You are an angel-in-training and I hope you can hold that sacred space for yourself as you support and nurture your loved one.  It’s important to remember that you don’t need a pair of wings to walk this earth as an angel.