Lesson learned: There she was, looking frail and tired as she sat in her room of the medical center of a senior community that had very recently become her new home. We became acquainted eight months earlier, when we moved Kay and her husband from one personal care community to another one. Sadly, her life had changed tremendously when her husband of six decades suddenly died and she took ill shortly thereafter. The grief was very evident on her face as we chatted. She smiled at me but her red eyes could not conceal her sorrow and sense of loss.
“Life has been good to me”, she said in a strong, clear voice. “I had a wonderful husband and have two caring children, who do everything for me.” With a contented, motherly smile she went on to tell me more about the love she had for her family. She spoke alternatingly with affection and gratitude, as if she was taking a final accounting of her life.
We said our good-byes and I left to return to the crisp winter day that was warmed by the sunshine that radiated from the brilliantly blue sky and made the blanket of snow sparkle. It occurred to me as I walked across the parking lot that the serenity of nature matched the serenity of Kay’s spirit. What a blessing it must be for her to express with such contentment that “life has been good”. She seemed to truly be at peace.