"A SERENDIPITOUS VISIT"
Today was hospital visiting day. There are two towers in our hospital, a north and a south one. The north tower is a little more challenging, containing the ER, ICU (intensive care unit), SICU (surgical intensive care unit), CVRU (cardio vascular recovery unit), PCU (progressive care unit), as well as regular patient rooms. The south tower is primarily rehabilitation, neuro-science, behavioral health, and general patient rooms.
When I first began volunteering, I was assigned the north tower twice. Since then I have been assigned the south tower each Monday. The gentleman who normally is assigned the north tower had not come last Monday and it was not known if he would come today, so I was assigned the north tower.
It was the last of 16 visits I made today and the last 25 minutes of the 4 hour shift. I walked into a room where there was a gentleman who was clearly the patient and a woman who was his wife. I identified myself and within the first few minutes I understood that he was dealing with critical health problems and his wife's parents were very ill as well.
This couple was not from our town, but from New York State. They had been visiting her parents trying to help with their care when the husband suffered a recurrence of his severe illness.
As we talked, I slowly began to notice just a few certain familiar words, phrases, and ideas interspersed in their conversation with me. For example, they stated they had both been raised with religious backgrounds, but were today spiritual rather than religious. The wife said several times that she had to pray to God for strength every day and if she forgets, she sure knows it. Later, he spoke about dealing with life just for the day.
After about 15 minutes, these familiar words finally came to full fruit in my conscious mind and out of my mouth came the words, "Are either of you or both of you familiar with someone by the name of Bill W.?" They both smiled, their faces lit up, and he said, "This kind of thing always happens when we most need it." Both were long time members of our beloved fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I was able then to be supportive and encouraging in the way that only one alcoholic can be for another alcoholic. I told them about meetings in the area.
She discussed serious relationship issues between herself and her mother. She was concerned that these difficulties had caused enough stress to have been in part responsible for her husband's current hospitalization. We were able to pray together, all three of us, for healing of body and of relationships.
IMHO this visit was orchestrated by our God who brings us to sobriety and carries us through all manner of difficulty.
Thank you God for this serendipitous visit.
(Photo Credit: pembrokeshire-ga)