One of the big lessons I’ve learned so far during my time at the nursing home, is to follow my instincts. If I hear the small quiet voice in my heart to help someone, to hold a hand, to listen closely, or to love…I now know to follow it. I couldn’t be more grateful for this lesson. Some of the most touching, loving moments of my life have come from following this instinct. Most of the time it feels uncomfortable to work up the courage to follow that feeling. It feels foolish, it doesn’t always make sense or seem right. But I don’t care, I do it anyway.
It wasn’t always this way. There was a man who move into a room down the hall from my dad. He was only there for a few days before he died. He was just skin and bones and he was a shade of grey that I had never seen before. Our eyes met as I walked past his room on the way to visit my dad. I felt the nagging feeling to go inside, to hold his hand, and comfort him. I didn’t listen to it. The awkward feelings won out and I stayed away. The man died later that night. I will always remember him, even though I never even knew his name.