Taking Me Beyond My Comfort Zone, An Unforgettable Gift

By Mary York • September 23, 2015

(A Windows Within Project, Hospice Volunteer Reflection)

I remember visiting one special patient who was a resident in a care facility. As is often the case in these homes, I not only visited with him, but also with the many residents in the home. They had a big common area for the residents and there always seemed to be about eight or ten residents that gathered at any one time in the room. Of course, there was a television, playing loudly in the background. My patient was an elderly man in his nineties, but due to a childhood illness that affected his mental capacities, he functioned more like a twelve-year old child.

He just loved singing from old hymnals and reading Bible verses to anyone that would listen.

One day, he really wanted me to gather the group and read to the "class" in a loud voice, one that reverberated through the room and soared over the TV noise. When that didn't work, then he’d encourage me to hold the book up higher, pan the open pages for the group to see and raise my voice even louder. Then, the singing followed. It was up to me to sing to everyone in the room and my patient kept demanding I sing louder, louder! It was such a humbling experience and one that completely took me out of my comfort zone. I considered it a gift. I had always dreamt of being a school teacher and in a funny way, he made that dream a reality that day. I will forever be grateful to him.

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