I’ve said this before. My memory is really going, so I am probably repeating things I said long ago on this blog, but, this quote, I think, is worth repeating. A long time ago, I read a quote that said, “if you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery, if you want to be happy for life, help someone.” It was an unexpected chain of events that led me to be the co-leader of our MM support group. One co-leader moved away and the nurse who started the group was so busy seeing patients, she started handing over tasks to me, little by little because she could not even get away from the clinic to attend the meetings. Now, that nurse has moved to the lymphoma dept. and we have another nurse helping who now finds herself having the same problem trying to make it to the meetings. So, I am just doing my thing: booking speakers, sending e-mails, etc. Today, I had an elder care attorney come in, that I used myself for wills and powers of attorney, to speak about these important documents we all need and how Medicaid coverage works when you need long term nursing home care. There was a lot of estate planning info he taught us that is SO important to know. We had a good crowd and, afterward, quite a few people came up to me and thanked me for doing such a good job with the group and having this man come in. I have become friends with some of the people in my group and care deeply for these folks. I keep in touch via e-mail with some of them, etc. I have found that this is a way of channeling grief. I feel like I am doing something positive, and it heals my soul a bit, and helps me deal with the pain of what my family is going through with Tim’s illness. At the beginning of the meeting, a man I know who had an allo in the fall, came in with his wife just to say hi on their way home from a doc appointment. I had not seen him since I visited him in the hospital during his allo. I took one look at him, saw how great he looked now, and tears sprang to my eyes as I hugged him hard. I was so moved to see him. Then, at the end of the meeting, an older woman came up to me and said, “before I found this group, and you, I felt so alone” and she started to cry. I hugged her and asked about her life. She is alone, just went through a transplant by herself last year. I felt so bad for her. We talked for a while. When I drove home today, I again got tears in my eyes. These people touch my heart and I care so much about them. There is a brother/sisterhood when you walk through the fire with people. You become close fast. There are no head games or nonsensical things going on in your relationships. It’s all reality and hard and intense, but also pure and so touching. I was verklempt when I left our meeting. These people are so nice, and appreciative of my efforts, and we all understand each other, on a level others who aren’t on this journey cannot understand. So, despite the depression I feel a lot of the time, and the helplessness caregivers feel in general, days like today heal me in a way. I feel like what I’m doing is making a difference to someone. SO if you want to be happy and feel like your life is worth something, help someone. Not only is it the right thing to do, it helps you in ways that surpass anything else I can think of. There was a commercial that said, “it’s 10 pm, do you know where your children are?” Well, to me, this is what life is all about………….it’s 10 pm, have you helped someone today?
Private note to GS: OK, you can go to sleep now, buddy. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz