He was struggling to open his fruit cup. Then I struggled to open it. I wondered why hospitals give people, who are often weak, difficult things to open, possibly reminding them of what strength they have lost. I was determined to get that damn fruit cup open so he could eat.
Once he was eating, I said,” how are you today?” He replied, “I have used up all my courage.” Tears began to roll down his face. There was a moment of silence between us. A silence of understanding. I received his words and so much more. I didn’t know much of his story yet, but it didn’t really matter. His heart was open, broken, and my heart immediately joined his.
And then he whispered, “I am just starting to get some of it back.”
Many times I don’t think I can handle one more piece of difficult news, one more bureaucratic screw up, one more uncertainty, or even one more package I can’t open. Fruit cups, printer ink, and especially medications.
After I give up, I find my resilience, put on my big girl pants, and take a deep breath. I think I have used up all my courage, but my breath doesn’t seem to get the memo and I keep breathing.
When you feel that your courage is all used up, may you notice that you are still breathing.
And let us say