Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others...—1 PETER 4:10 (NIV)
When my mother’s breast cancer spread to her brain, she was discharged home with hospice care. As a registered nurse for 25 years, I immediately jumped into the role of consummate caregiver. I ordered supplies, organized her medications, and drew up an exhaustive schedule for all of her needs.
By the time Debbie, the hospice case manager, arrived, I had collapsed into a chair in tears. “I can’t do it all,” I said. “I’ve taken care of patients for all these years and I want my mother to receive the best too. But I’m just spent.”
Debbie took my hand and looked into my eyes with the utmost compassion. “You don’t have to, Roberta,” she said softly. “That’s why you have a hospice team. Each member has their own special gifts. We’ll coordinate everything to make sure your mother has whatever she needs. We’ll be sending a nursing assistant out to give her her bath and all. Then when it gets closer to the end, one of our nurses will be right here with you.”
Debbie eased over to Mother’s bedside and took her hand. I will never forget her wise words to me. “Why don’t you just let all of us love on your mama and you focus on being her daughter now?”