I wasn’t going to write about my volunteer experience last night, but finding myself with anxiety and exhaustion today I think it’s for the best. I began my Tuesday night with a visit with my Wish Kid, Liam, and his parents, as they’re back in the hospital for his second Stem Cell Transplant. After enjoying their company and Liam’s adorableness, I ran downstairs to change into my volunteer jacket for my shift. As I entered my first hospital room, I found myself missing Hazel & George even more. Actually, spending a week with them really helped me in my volunteer role as I’m more aware and comfortable around the Infant- 3 year old age group now.
I spent the majority of my shift with two infant girls, providing them with a little TLC before their bedtime. With my second patient, whose condition I will not disclose but can say that it’s caused her to lose her sight, I sat in the chair and rocked her to sleep as I found myself engaged in a great conversation with her nurse- again making me realize how passionate I am for this line of work.
When the nurse left to check on another patient, I found myself lost in a little daydream. Holding the little one, I imagined what it would be like to be holding my own child. My empathy for the parents who have children in the hospital sky-rocketed. After spending time with Rebecca and the kids last week, my perspective has grown as I realize exactly what it’s like to truly love another unconditionally. They gave me a gift that I’m going to give back to further my work with many kids & families for years to come, so thank you.
A few people near-and-dear to my heart have shared their concern for my constant travel and go-go-go lifestyle, that has really been the definition of this year. I’ve reassured them all that I’m fine and that things will slow down soon. Maybe. Don’t tell them, or do, but today I actually felt the repercussions of the go-go-go as the exhaustion set in as I began packing my suitcase for my trip to Columbus tomorrow night. But even with that momentary revelation, I know I won’t stop. Slow down, maybe, but I won’t stop. Because the truth is that the traveling to visit friends, the volunteering, and the little care packages are what I do to make me happy. Making others happy makes me happy and therefore, I won’t stop. I just can’t.
I’m just going to share this quote with you that I heard by Portia de Rossi today, in speaking about the impact that her wife, Ellen Degeneres, has had on her. I promise that I’ll be sharing this again, but for now I want to let her words leave a mark on your heart as they did on mine:
”I used to think that the way to be strong, was to be tough. I used to think that to be independent, was to not need anyone. But she’s taught me that the more vulnerable you and the softer you are, and the more you allow more people into your life and into your heart, the happier you are and the more valuable you are to other people.” ~Portia de Rossi