Stop Your Fretting

Two days ago, as I waited anxiously outside Charity's ICU room, the man in the room next to hers gestured in my direction. I glanced around--sure he was beckoning someone else. After realizing there was no else around, I walked over to his bedside. He seemed be about sixty. He was very thin, had short salt and pepper hair, and wore an over-sized hospital gown which revealed a large scar across his chest. As soon as I walked over, he clasped my hand and gave me a huge, warm smile. Without any words, he explained that--because of the ventilator--he couldn't speak. Instead, he traced a little message onto the palm of my right hand, one letter at a time.


In the midst of his recovery, this dear man went out of his way to reassure me. I was overwhelmed - and I can still hardly believe his generosity. The interaction was brief, but so kind, so selfless, and so unexpected; it was one of the sweetest encounters I've ever had.

During the last weeks, countless people have clasped my hands and reassured me in their own way - like the elderly man who brought his Newfoundland to the hospital to greet and comfort anyone in need of a furry friend, and the family of another patient who shared the special fudge her friends sent, and the children of a respiratory therapist who made Charity "Get Well" cards. And, of course, all of you. We are so grateful for the kindness.
It has been a beautiful and humbling thing to witness.