And this one’s for you, Louise…

” Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring − all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   Leo Buscaglia

Once again, this is not a post about writers, writing, or that client book project that has me working around the clock.

You may remember my post (back on October 27th) about my old high school friend (since 1971) and co-Leo Club member (the Leo Club is the teen version of the Lions Club) − Ro.   Well, we are all thinking of her every day and praying for a swift recovery. 

But, now I’d like to say a few words about her nearest and dearest Louise.  She has been by Ro’s hospital bedside day and night, despite the pressures of work, family, and having to patiently provide status updates  to a multitude of well-wishers.  She must be exhausted. And stressed.  Yet, she seems to be bearing it with grace and calmness.  She is, after all, a nurse.  Nurses are the ones who keep things together.  I’d rather be taken care of by a nurse, than a doctor − any day. But that’s just me.

Let me tell you a personal story.  I had met Louise a handful of times – through Ro − while visiting my mother at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal. This was back in 2005.  I had been travelling back and forth from the US to Montréal because I was responsible (proudly and gratefully so) for the care of both my Mother and my Aunt – who were each suffering from different forms of dementia and cancer.  Then, my Father-in-law became ill.  They all died in the space of a few months and I somehow mustered the strength (I still don’t know how I did it) to care for them, ensure that they were being treated properly in their respective healthcare facilities, handle the funeral arrangements, and, finally, close up two apartments.  I was running on pure adrenaline. And Grace.  

So, after my Mother’s memorial service, I was standing by myself at the reception (I was a little bit shell-shocked as the emotional after effects of what I had been through began to hit me) when Louise very quietly came up to me with a glass of Perrier and told me to drink it. She had noticed (from across the room) that I was starting to feel shaky and hadn’t had anything to eat or drink.  I looked at her, startled, and did as I was told.  I − who had been taking care of everything and everyone − was being taken care of.  By Louise.  And then I turned to see Rosanne and she was looking at me with those soulful, caring eyes of hers and I felt a sense of calm come over me. 

It was this little, kind gesture that – unbeknownst to Louise – had such an impact on me that day.

So, thank you, Louise.  I wish I could be there in Montréal, to bring you that proverbial glass of Perrier.  But, I can’t.  However, please know that we are thinking of you both, during this very difficult time. We are toasting a glass of wine to your health, endurance, and to better times ahead!

− Heather

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