When Others Rally to Help

Group of young adults holding hands

The Lord is near those who who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope. —PSALM 34:18 (GNT)

I was a bruised and battered mess that morning at the Cleveland Clinic. Recovering from craniofacial surgery to remove a large tumor, I gazed up to see my husband, Mark. I could tell by the way he stared into the distance that something was wrong. “It’s Muffin,” he said. “She somehow got out of Mom’s backyard and ran off, Roberta. They can’t find her anywhere.”

Muffin was our beloved shaggy, Benji-like mutt I’d rescued from a country flea market. I’d thought I’d return home, scoop her up from my in-laws’ house and have her stretch across the foot of my bed while I regained my strength. I needed that strength desperately with two additional surgeries awaiting me.

I vowed to sign out against medical advice and search for Muffin myself. Doing so, of course, would brand me a crazy fool, but in that moment, I didn’t care. I just knew Muffin would respond to my voice. I had to find her.

When I confided my plan to my animal-loving nurse, Joni, she begged me to give her a few minutes. In that snatch of time, she recruited other caregiving “dog people” who rallied to my side. Together, they convinced my physician to agree to an early discharge.

Recently, I saw the actual note Joni had placed on my chart, one that preserved my dignity for all time: “Patient experienced significant loss back home in West Virginia. Released with all needed supplies with family.”

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for caregivers who advocate for us.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts