Longsuffering

When I was growing up, and attending Catholic schools, I learned in religion class that longsuffering is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and that longsuffering is a fusion of patience and power.

Merriam-Webster Online defines longsuffering as: Suffering for a long time without complaining: Very patient during difficult times.

I went to visit my mother at the care center again today. She was very surprised to see me even though I told on Tuesday that I would be back on Thursday. When I arrived at the care center, my mother, along with several other residents, were all sitting in their wheel chairs just outside the dinning room waiting for the doors to open so they could go in for lunch.

My mother, along with several other residents, were complaining that they had to wait until exactly 11:30 for the doors to open and couldn’t understand why they weren’t allowed in any earlier… Once inside the dinning room, my mother, along with several other residents started complaining about what was on the menu. Bean soup, pot roast with potatoes, carrots and peas, and a creamy peach desert OR a cottage cheese fruit plate…

Lately, when I go to visit my mother, I try to time my visit so I can sit with her through her lunch. Not only does it allow me an opportunity to encourage her to eat her lunch, it also makes visiting with her more productive because my mother doesn’t engage in conversation much anymore. However, her tablemate, Joan, is a big talker and kind of fills in the episodes of silence when my mother can’t find her words.

If I just visit with my mother in her room, this is pretty much how the visit goes… my mother sits and looks out her door while I sit on her bed behind her and try to talk to her…

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If I ask my mother a question, she will usually answer me, but more often than not now, I don’t know if she is telling me something that really happened, or if she is telling me her version of what she thinks is happening in her world. So, I try to keep our talks short and try not to ask her too many questions.

Today, as I sat with my mother during her lunch, I just asked her to smile so I could take her picture so I could post it to my blog for friends or family members to see that she looks good and she that did eat a couple bites of her soup.

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While I was siting through lunch with mom, another resident, David came in and took his place at his table.

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David is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met. To me, he is the true definition of longsuffering in the flesh. David is only 51 years old. He was an Air Force Pilot and lost one of his legs while in service to our country… He also has a terminal illness that reeks havoc on his body, and knows he is going to be in a care center for the rest of his life. He has a colostomy bag ,and one of the nurses told me that even though they know he is in pain most of the time, he never complains.

David’s room is next door to my mother’s room so I’ve been blessed with the privilege of seeing David a lot, especially now that I am spending more and more time with my mother. David has a power wheelchair and usually when I see David, he is pushing one of the residents that don’t have a power wheelchair down the hall so they don’t have to work so hard getting to and from the lunchroom, activity room, etc. In fact, David is almost always the last one to get his meals because he is so busy helping to make sure everyone else gets to the dinning room on time. But when David finally gets to his table for lunch, his tablemates are waiting for him to lead them in prayer before they eat.

David always has a smile on his face and when I say hello to David, he always stops what he is doing and says “hi honey, how is your day?” I’ve heard him say that to everyone he comes in contact with… always asking about others. When I tell David I’m fine and ask how he is doing, he smiles and says “I couldn’t be any better…”

My mother has been in the care center for five years now and I’ve spent many, many, days visiting with her there. And in that time, I’ve seen many, many, people who are sick, lonely, in pain etc. but seldom have I ever seen anyone who deals with their condition like David… I am humbled and honored just to be in his presence.

I honestly believe it’s not what life deals you, it’s how you deal with what life deals you. If I can be half the person David is I will have accomplished more than I ever expected in this life…

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellen Kaufman
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 00:14:20

    So much sadness in those nursing homes, but tell you David is that special person that God picks to show us all how we must accept our pain and suffering . My thoughts and prayer with David and all who suffer silently.

    Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Aug 08, 2014 @ 01:50:18

    Man…tears here. What a very special person he is… Wow. Thanks for sharing such inspiration. Love you!

    Reply

  3. katsbynp
    Aug 11, 2014 @ 01:10:02

    What a special man and how fortunate you have gotten to know him. I too had tears in my eyes when I read this. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Our lives have been blessed as well.

    On another matter..not much longer and I will be there! Love you

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Aug 12, 2014 @ 21:18:34

      Oh, yes, David is truly a very special person. Such joy he spreads throughout the care center… and YES… we are so counting the days until you get here… can’t hardly wait! XoXo

      Reply

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