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A Dash of Comfort
It's been awhile since my last Friday's Journal!  To those of you who have written to ask if all was
well with me, I thank you most sincerely and hope you'll forgive my response being so tardy and
coming by way of this page.

Toward the end of August, my husband and I were both diagnosed with health issues - different, but
equally serious.  We spent the next month in a blur of doctor's offices and hospitals, seeing more
doctors and undergoing more tests than I even knew existed.  My husband was hospitalized in early
September and my turn came later in the month.  His issue is now being treated with medication and I
am recuperating from the surgery I underwent three weeks ago.  I don't mind admitting that there
were some unnerving days of not knowing how it would ultimately turn out for either of us, but I feel
fortunate and grateful to be able to report that the prognosis is now excellent for both of us.

The title of this page comes from a quote by Gina Greenlee:  "Do not underestimate the lasting effects
of a dash of spontaneous comfort."  Never was a page dedicated to such a premise more appropriate.

I am grateful to son, Jim, who brings comfort by word and deed - in every emergency and in everyday
life.  Grateful to my primary care physican (who I also consider my friend), who first gave me news I
didn't want to hear and did it with the kindness and encouragement that comes to her so naturally.  
Grateful to my surgeon, convinced as I am that he's the best surgeon in at least three parishes, and
probably well beyond.  Grateful to all the good people who work at Northshore Ochsner Medical
Center and Slidell Memorial Hospital - every doctor, every nurse, every technician, every clerk - every
single person my husband and I encountered in both hospitals.  They were so much more than good
at their jobs.  They were all unfailing bearers of kindness and comfort.

One of many examples of this came in the Radiology Department of Slidell Memorial, where a
radiologist performed two procedures in preparation for my surgery.  He apologized in advance,
saying that it was going to be uncomfortable.  On hearing his remark, one of the ultrasound
technicians came over and took my hand, urging me to squeeze it as hard as I needed to if it
became too painful.  With her holding my hand, she and I chatted our way through the
procedures and, when he was finished, the radiologist told me I'd been a real trooper.
I told him that it's a lot easier to be a trooper when someone is holding your hand.

A retiring doctor once wrote to the young man who was about to take over his practice:  "The
best advice I have to offer is this:  All through your life, endeavor to write your name in
kindness on the hearts of those you meet.  It will mean a lot to them and, in the end, it will
mean everything to you."

I am so grateful to the many people
who have written their names in kindness on my heart during
the past six weeks.  I can't speak to what it's meant to them, but it's meant the world and all to me.

-- Nancy, 10/15/18
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but
small ones surround us every day.  
-- Sally Koch
Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a
journey.  At other times, it is allowing another to take your journey with you.
-- Vera Nazarian
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
-- Aesop's Fables
I felt sad.
I felt hurt.
I felt doubtful.
I felt scared.
I felt unwelcome.
I felt neglected.
I felt intimidated.
I felt hopeless.
Then you held my hand,
And I felt better.

-- Richelle Goodrich
How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.  -- George Elliston