This past week I received a call from a patient’s caregiver letting me know that the patient had passed away on Christmas Eve. She wanted to let us know how much “Sally” enjoyed coming to our office and always appreciated our care of her.
Sally was in her late nineties and she had some dementia. Every time that Sally came to the office she would be smiling and would tell us all how wonderful we were and how fortunate we were to be here on this earth today.
Sally would sing and loved to do a little dance as she would laugh and call the staff angels as they helped her. She always thanked the doctor for making her feel better and joked with him about how handsome he was. She made us all smile while she was there, you couldn’t help but smile when you were with Sally.
When talking to her caregiver that day she mentioned to me that Sally had always been one of those people who brought joy to others. She knew Sally before she had dementia and said that Sally always looked for the good in every situation. Even if it were a bad one, Sally would find a way to bring happiness to those involved.
The caregiver then said something that really stuck with me. She said “Sally would always call people angels. It made me feel uncomfortable at first because I knew I was no angel. Then I realized that Sally always saw the good in people. She saw what we really could be and that was angels.”
I told her that we were all so fortunate to have had met Sally. She made an impact on each of us with her wonderful fun, loving, joyful spirit.
After I hung up the phone, I could not help but to think about how Sally saw the angel in each person she met. She had learned to look beyond the skin, and any other ugliness that hides within each of us. What a gift she had, what a lesson for us to learn.
Since that conversation, I have tried a bit harder to see people differently, even when they have not been nice to me. By looking for the good in others, you end up treating the person differently and most of the time, they respond differently.
Certainly, our world would be a better place if we sought to see the angel in others. How many angels can you see today?