What Gives Us Strength When Our Hearts Are Hurting?

What Gives Us Strength When Our Hearts Are Hurting?

This week’s inspiration comes from a thank you note I’ve kept for months. I had sent flowers to someone who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. I didn’t know what to do or say, so I sent the flowers and wrote on the card, “Thinking of you.”

Although I’ve received many notes of thanks through the years, this one struck me:

I remember smiling at the response, so pleased my expression of concern had made an impact.

I recalled those words as I looked back on the recent weekend with my family. Despite not being on my game, the time with them was amazingly fulfilling.

Why? What gave me strength?

We shopped together. Cooked together. Shared a meal together.

Then, somehow every dish made it to the dishwasher. The trash got taken out. Someone even let the dog out. All without a single request from me.

The next morning, I rolled into the kitchen where the usual evidence of late night snacks, drinks, and board games would greet me.

But not that morning.

The games were tucked away. Snack bowls and bottles were gone. Someone had even wiped the countertops, one of the most difficult chores for me to do from the wheelchair.

Before their departure, towels and linens made it to the laundry room bin.

Even though my heart was heavy and my health was not at its best, I enjoyed our time together.

My family’s thoughtfulness gave me strength.

This week, I again experienced the power of thoughtfulness. I shared the news with you and a few friends about Madison’s residential placement reversal and then posted it on Facebook. I began receiving notes of encouragement from those I told. Then, from those they told. The ripples of care continued as emails, texts, and posts lit up my phone and lifted up my heart. I felt a network of concern. A support system of thoughtfulness.

And yes, it has given me strength. I reviewed my list of the 200 residential providers I’d emailed in early March and sent new emails to the 33 that had indicated interest, but no availability. So far, two have responded positively.

Fortified, I am determined to keep up the search.

Then I began to wonder. Why do expressions of concern give us strength?

It’s because they help us feel connected. We know we are not alone. We learn that someone cares about us and for us. Others know us well enough to know how to help. To know what matters in our lives.

Like wiping the countertop.

Or bringing the linens down.

Or sending an email or text. Or responding to a post. Or picking up the phone.

Reaching out gives strength to those we touch. I’m not always the best at doing it. But after this latest bout with Madison, I’m trying to get better. To be more observant and thoughtful, and to put into action an expression of concern, even a small one, to help where it hurts.

How about you? What small thoughtful gestures have you received that have given you strength? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Again, thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming!

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