I've taken the time to now comment on the comments of my last few posts. In case you don't go back and read them, I'm copying one that addresses someone's presence alongside someone who is ill. I thought you ought to read it.
Thank you all for your comments.
Yes, someone's presence can in fact be a gift.
I have a cousin whose grandmother (my great-aunt) had been in a nursing home for a few years. Even though my great-aunt was often sleeping or simply "out of it", I would visit, just sit with her, hold her hand and say a few words...whether she heard them or not.
I asked that cousin one day: "Do you visit your grandmother? Do you take the kids to see their great-grandmother?"
I got a very flippant answer: "No...it wouldn't make a difference anyhow. She's so out of it, she wouldn't know who I am or who the kids are, and wouldn't know I'm there."
I never forgot -- nor, in a way, forgave -- that cousin for that shi**yattitude. If that attitude prevailed throughout this world, people who were sick would simply die earlier.
The truth is that one never knows when their presence can make a difference. And I can tell you another story about how one's presence had an impact...
IN 1981 after my dad was operated on for a brain tumor -- benign -- he was barely conscious for the first few days after. But I happened to be there one day and a nurse was asking my dad simple questions to test his cognition. She said, 'Mr. A, there is someone in the room with you. Do you know who it is?"
In barely a whisper, and with his eyes closed, he said, "My daughter...Pearl."
I was astounded; I might've said something to him when I walked in but thought due to the heavy painkillers, he couldn't hear me or sense I was there.
How wrong I was! And that memory has stuck with me, among several others from that time, for these past 25+ years.
So nobody should ever say "It doesn't matter if I'm there or not."IT DOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(phew, now that I got that out of my system, I can move on to something else)