A long time ago. I worked as a psychiatric technician in a hospital.
There was a patient who was about 90. He was all skin and bones, with large
sores on his backside, his eyes were almost closed because of an infection, and
there was an unpleasant odor in his room. Most of the nurses and orderlies
didn't want anything to do with this man because he was expected to die soon. So
I asked the doctor and the nurse if it would be all right for me to take care of
him, and they gave me permission. I rolled him over and than cleaned his sores
with hydrogen peroxide and held warming lights near him for lengthy periods.
within three weeks , the bed sores were gone. I powdered him, diapered him , and
cleaned out his eyes. At one point, he started talking to me. I was surprised
because this old man hadn't talked all the time I been working in the hospital,
and I had assumed he had lost the power of speech. He explained that he didn't
want to talk because the rest of the staff treated him as if he were already
dead. We had a beautiful conversation that went like this. He said, you were a
little rough a few times when you rolled me over. I replied, be thankful that I
rolled you over. He laughed and said, I am, and you still rolled me over a
little hard. I smiled and asked, why didn't you speak to me sooner? Because I
thought if I said something, you'd stop. That. s because you didn't know me, I
said. I do now he said, and that's why I am telling you to take it easier. We
both laughed. I made sure his room was one of the best smelling ones in the
hospital. I made sure his bed was fresh. I knew he wasn't going to live much
longer, but while he was living, I made sure he had the attention he deserved as
a human being. When he died, he was content that somebody had cared enough to
take care of him. He died while I was in the room with him. He said, I would
like to die now. I said, well, not until I give you a hug. He smiled, what do
you think I am waiting for? I hugged him and he died, and I cried. Then I washed
him because I cared enough. I share this story with everyone because
unconditional loving doesn't care about smells, looks, or any other condition.
It's just a matter of love them anyway. That man is dead, and he's also alive in
me and, perhaps, in you with whom I share the experience. No matter what you are
seeking in life. Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they
will love you back. Don't expect love in return, just wait for it grew in their
heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.