by Vickie Watson, Community Relations Specialist
I was honored to be asked to speak at the United Way Campaign Celebration a couple of weeks ago. As I sat pondering what to say, one particular statement resounded in my mind, “A life touching a life.” I had probably said that at every single United Way Campaign presentation I was privileged to be a part of. Why? Because what we do makes a difference! Even what might seem to be the most insignificant thing to you, can make a world of difference in someone else’s dreary, doldrums type day. What does that even mean? Allow me to explain.
Each and every one of us come in contact with people every single day of our lives. You might say, “Yes…and…what is your point?” The point is in the tiniest of gestures. It might be passing someone in a grocery aisle and offering a “Hello” and a bright smile. It might be holding the door open for the lady with a walker coming in behind you. You see, we are leaving fingerprints on the lives of those around us, and those fingerprints can leave a lasting impression.
One personal example I would like to share is with a recent patient in Shepherd’s Cove. I happened to be back in the nutrition room one morning getting some ice water and came up the hallway with a patient whose precious wife was taking him on “stroll” in his wheelchair. I am a “talker” and will strike up a conversation with just about anyone. I saw the couple was heading up to the front parlor and library area, so I offered to hold the door for them to get through. As we entered into the reception area, we started talking about the baby grand piano that graces our parlor (a generous gift from a donor). The patient and his wife began to tell me about his great love for music and how they had met because his band was performing at a dance. He was a singer, and he had serenaded his way straight into her heart. Well, if anyone knows my love for music, they will understand how that struck a chord in my heart. I told him how much I loved music and loved to sing. I said, “Hey, maybe later I can come by your room and we can sing a few songs together!” Of course, a huge smile came across his face and he said, “Yes! I would love that! Please do!”
That conversation happened to be overheard by a couple of other staff members who offered to join in on the fun. It sort of “snowballed” from there and we ended up with a plan that included eliciting one of our staff members to play the piano and an entire ensemble who was willing to sing. Shortly after lunch, I went and got our sweet “serenader” and his wife and brought them into the presence of a group of HMC – SC staff, all with huge smiles on their faces. We were thrilled, but our patient and his wife were bubbling with delight. We sang several songs together and returned him to his room with a smile and a radiating joy. All of that from a simple hello, casual conversation, and holding a door open for someone. Do you see now? What we do, even the tiniest of gestures, makes a difference.