Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
Take the Time
I was working with a client the other day and during our session she proceeded to tell me the story of her life. I feel that it is important to know a great deal about my clients, as it helps me to address their needs and preferences better. I am then able to provide a truly client focused, holistic, approach to their care. I often times spend several hours with a new client as I never want them to feel rushed and want to ensure that I have ample time to listen and address all areas of importance.
As her story began to unfold, I was on the edge of my seat in suspense. She slowly told me the challenging events of her life and how her family escaped from the Nazi's. I was overwhelmed by her bravery, compassion, and her coping skills in moving forward with her life. This experience truly impacted all that she did throughout her lifetime and she showed extreme gratitude for the life that she had and all the blessings that she had been given. I asked her at the end of the story if she had ever told her grandchildren about this? I was sure that she had spoken to them numerous times and probably had many wonderful stories to tell them. They probably raved about the amazing stories that their grandmother told! She looked at me sadly and replied, " No, there just never seems to be the time. Everyone is always in such a rush and so busy." This broke my heart. I volunteered to type up the story for her so that she could at least present it to her grandchildren. This made her feel such a sense of pride and satisfaction. I'm sure that over the next few months that this will become a labor of love and that together we will work to make this truly a piece of art that she will feel proud in passing on to her family. But this is not the point of the story.
The point of this story is to take the time. Yes, we are all busy, yes we are often rushing here and there, and challenged by the stuff of life, but there is always time for what we want to make time for. Our parents, our grandparents, our family members that are seniors have such a wealth of information that they can impart upon our generation. Take the time to listen without distractions, without interruptions. Look into their eyes and ask them the questions that you've always wondered about. Take the time to listen. I recommend scheduling in your calendar (especially if you're a busy person) a little bit of time that you know is just time for you and your loved one to sit together, enjoy time together, talk, and just be. You will thank yourself later and you will immediately see how happy this will make your loved one. It will bring you happiness too! It is not the material possessions, the gifts, the flowers or even the quick visits that make a difference, it is truly taking the time, spending the time, and listening that leaves a lasting impression and that is appreciated by all.