“Nice Begats Nice”

hospitalI’m trying to remember if I’ve ever met a more gracious patient. He welcomed each member of the medical team as if we were his guests. “Come on in, how are you doing on this lovely day?” Didn’t matter what the day was like, they were all lovely to him.

Especially since he now knew how few there might be left.

When I introduced myself as the chaplain he greeted me like an old friend, although we had never met. “Everyone is so wonderful around here, I’ve been treated so well.” He then gave me a quick litany of the supporting cast and the roles they played. Patients ready for discharge occasionally say something like that but rarely (never) when they’ve just been diagnosed with their final illness.

By the way, flower arrangements covered the window sill like a spring floral show. He nodded to them almost reverently, “Have you ever seen such beauty?”  The noticing seemed more beautiful than the flowers in that moment.

He smiled broadly as if to reassure me, “I have had a long and wonderful life, I have no regrets.”  I knew immediately that both were true.

I’ve been thinking about him ever since. Nice begats nice. Perhaps an over simplification but his manner of treating others with high regard and care seemed to flow back to him. Everyone is wonderful… likely started with his warmth and kindness. The “Golden Rule” (as my mom always called it) personified:

 “In everything treat others as you would want them to treat you.” Matthew 7:12

As I headed to the elevator, an older couple were walking towards his room carrying a little gift. I saw her glance at a slip of paper to check the room number, yup, it was his. I knew they would leave with more than they brought.

Hope for the best,

Tish

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