Yesterday, I was sitting in the transfusion center waiting for my dad to get his blood transfusion due to a decrease in his hemoglobin. As I sat in the waiting room I watched all the people coming in to get their chemotherapy treatments and blood transfusions. What amazed me most was the number of people of all ages that came in alone. It reminded me of my trips to my grandmother in her nursing home where so many never received visitors at all. It got me to thinking about how thankful we have to be for those that are lucky enough to have family and friends that care and choose to be a part of our lives.
I was touched by the elderly lady sitting there with her oxygen machine waiting to be called for her transfusion. The gentleman signing in that was not sure exactly what to do. Both alone with no one accompanying them. Then there sat my dad with my mom and I by his side, and I realized just how lucky he is and how lucky we are to be a part of his life and show the compassion that he needs during this difficult time.
The unfortunate thing is that many people still have family and friends, they just don’t want to make the effort or are so consumed with their own lives that they don’t put forth the effort to be involved. This is sad for individuals that could really use someone. It is a reminder of how we must cherish the people that are willing to be involved and realize that they are involved because they love and care for us, not because they have to be.
Aging is hard enough for much of the population. When you compound that with having to deal with debilitating diseases or medical conditions that heap enormous amounts of stress on your life, the need for those around us is made that much greater. When we need and no one is there it invites the possibility of all sorts of potential mental health issues that could otherwise be avoided.
So, if you have someone in your life that is always there for you, be it friend or family, recognize them today. Say thank you, give them a little gift, or just let them know that they are appreciated and loved. Not everyone is as fortunate and that makes it all the more important to be thankful.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.