Bit of Happy #5: In My Eyes, You are the World

20 Sep

“To the world, you may be just one person, but to one person, you may be the world.”
-Brandi Snyder

From a small child’s devotion to their mother to an aging dog’s companionship to their owner, to star-crossed lovers’ hearts beating as one… this quote expresses the undying love that exists within the most precious moments of life.

You may never be famous or recognized by millions, but that’s not really a self-actualizing goal to have in life – not to me anyway. You can sit inside your money-stacked castle, but without one meaningful relationship – without love – you have nothing. It’s not about the volume of people you know, it’s how you impact their life. Whether it’s a baby you nurture or a soulmate you love to the end of time – even if it’s just one life – that relationship may mean the world to the other person… and to you. And if you really think about it… To have that kind of effect on someone, it’s nothing short of an honor. To be in someone’s life, through their happiness and hardships, and have that trust, your world becomes narrowed into that one person.

Tell Your Story.
Who is someone that means the world to you? Or someone you believe you are their world?

My Story…

When I was about 12- or 13-years-old, I volunteered at a nursing home in my hometown. I would run the arts-and-crafts and Bingo events, drop in and read stories to different patients, bring them down for their meals and just listen when they needed someone to talk to. There was this one lady in particular, Mrs. Havener… She was the sweetest lady and so grateful for my company. She had the brightest blue eyes I’d ever seen, short-cut, fluffy white hair and a modest smile. Some days I would read to her, and other days she would tell me about her family who no longer visited (Later, I found out from one of the nurses that they were all deceased) and the memories of her life. Some days, I would bring her flowers or a ‘Thinking-of-You’ card and slowly her small window ledge that was once bare filled up with my little gifts. She cherished them. And she cherished our time most of all.

Every day I would walk up to the nurses station and one of them would say, “Mrs. Havener has been looking for you.” My heart just filled with – you know, that fuzzy / exploding-with-happy feeling in your heart. She would miss me on the days I didn’t come in. Sometimes my mom and I would stop in and visit – even on the days I had off just because I knew it would make her day.

One day, she took my hands into hers. I could feel the natural shake of her palms from old age. She looked into my eyes and her wise voice spoke, “I haven’t been so happy in years. And it’s all because of you. You are the sunshine in my days.”

It was shortly after that day that Mrs. Havener’s health started going downhill. The day I came in and the nurses didn’t say anything about her awaiting my arrival, I could sense something wasn’t right. I could feel the thick choke in my throat and the pounding in my chest. I took the dreaded steps down the hall to her room – I just wanted to turn and run the other way. I stepped inside of her room; her bed was neatly made, not a crease in the white bedding. Tears welled into my eyes – all of my small tokens that Mrs. Havener had cherished were removed. It was as if she had vanished into thin air. Never existed. The room felt cold. Empty.

One of the nurses stepped in and put a hand on my shoulder, “She went in her sleep last night. I’m sorry.”

I turned to look at her as a tear rolled down my cheek. “How do you do it?” I asked. “How do you work at a place where everyone dies?”

“Oh hunny,” she said, putting an arm around my narrow shoulders. “It’s not easy. But what I think of that gets me through days like this… is that these people need people like us. Otherwise, they would die alone. Her last days were every bit of happy because of you. Without you, what would her last days have been like? That thought is what gets me here every morning. We are the world to most of these people. Their everything. Keep that in mind, and maybe you’ll find the strength to come in tomorrow.”

And the next day, I did…


5 Responses to “Bit of Happy #5: In My Eyes, You are the World”

  1. Bobby Bouche September 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    yeppers, picture of Annie just about sums this one up!

  2. Amanda September 23, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    I love the picture with this one 🙂

  3. Cath February 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    aw that is so lovely…reduced me to tears tho xx

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