Notes from Janey . . .
When Tupelo’s father was transferred into the hospice, we were told it wouldn’t be long before he’d pass on.
We turned toward Texas at 1:00 in the morning after a performance in Arizona to get to his bedside as quickly as we could.
The following few days were unlike anything I had ever experienced and felt privileged to be a part of it. The family gathered close, forming a loving and supportive circle for his transition. The hospice provided a peaceful place for this to happen. The hospice staff was loving and attentive. A steady stream of friends came, bringing food, flowers, and saying prayers.
This was a new situation for me and many times I found myself not knowing what I could do to help. I’ve been a part of this family for over 30 years, and love my father-in-law deeply. I knew that just my presence was all that was required. Still, I wanted to do more.
So I made soup. It wasn’t much, but at least it made me feel like I was doing something. Tupelo’s family came to our RV to get a respite from the hospice room and a bit of warm nourishment on the side.
I met new people and hugged old friends, but one shimmered a bit brighter than most. Jan is a close friend of Karla, Tupelo’s sister, and unlike me, she knew exactly what to do. When Poppy was brought to the hospice, Jan was close behind bringing a basket full of snacks and fruit. It sat on the table ready for anyone who needed it at any time of day. She replenished it daily.
She had been a nurse, so her expert hands and medical knowledge was a solace to the family. She spoke softly but wasn’t afraid to laugh. When she arrived, joy followed her into the room like an eager puppy. In the long hours that followed, I got to know her better, and was comforted by her presence.
When Poppy died, Jan was the first to show up at the house bringing an entire meal, still hot from the oven.
She did this, and much more — aided by a wheel chair.
I marveled at her ability – her ability to know what to say, and exactly what to do at the right time. She knew how to calm, how to love, how to laugh during these amazing circumstances.
I wanted to be like Jan. I wanted to flow like cooling water into a difficult situation, filling what needed to be filled, making things easier for everyone.
So at the funeral, I asked her. Straight out — Jan, how do you know what to do.
She was surprised at the question. She didn’t think she was doing anything extraordinary. But my eyes told her I was sincere in asking and wanted an insight. She smiled.
I just let Spirit tell me what to do, and I do it.
I know this. This is how I try to live my life too, but it took watching Jan in action to be reminded. When Spirit guides us it knows what is needed and when. We just have to relax and let it act through us. That was my problem. I worried too much that I’d do or say the wrong thing because I had never experienced anything like this before. I had self-doubts. Worry stifles and silences our inner voice. I’m working on not letting that happen again.
I saw first hand what happens when a light shines bright from the heart. It heals. It loves. It laughs. Its timing is timeless. It always does the right thing. Now that I know Jan’s secret, perhaps the next time, when I find myself in new circumstances, I will remember her amazing example, and let Spirit guide me in doing the right thing.
(Article and photos by Janey Wing Kenyon)
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