But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad.

Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. ~ Rumi

The phone is ringing. I answer the call.

I hear the familiar voice of the Hospice volunteer director, checking on my availability to serve this evening as an 11th Hour Volunteer for a hospice patient who is actively dying.

I say, yes and am given the patient’s East Austin nursing home location.

It’s a facility I’ve not visited before, so I arrive early, park the car, and discover some challenges in entering the building. At 7 PM, it’s already locked down for the night.

Finally, someone existing the building provides me with an open door.

The facility is a hubbub of after-dinner activity.

The odors in the building are pungent, and I observe that the building is in much need of repair.

I continue onward, finding my way through the maze of residents, lining the hallway.

The room I’m looking for is on the second floor, so I proceed to the elevator.

Once on the second floor, I figure finding room 2216 will be easy; it is once I get by the nurses station. Clearly the nurse who greets me is experiencing a challenging day.

I ponder for a brief moment or two the question . . . What am I doing here?

I continue onward, finding my way through my mind’s maze of doubting thoughts.

The door to room 2216 is closed tightly. I knock and then enter.

The patient, who’s in a coma, is surrounded by family members . . . a sister and some  nieces.

I introduce myself to the family.

Then I step up to the patient’s bedside, introducing myself to her and letting her know how honored I am to be with her at this time.

I find a place to sit.

I listen to the conversation, the sharing of stories, relating fond memories of the patient’s life.

After a short while, the patient’s daughter arrives.

She’s greeted with warm hugs from her cousins and aunt. The soft sobbing sounds simply add to the barren room’s soft, peaceful, loving glow.

The sharing of stories continue throughout the next hour.

How blessed I feel to be privy to the dying-patient’s life story . . . a woman now 78 years old who clearly gave her life to the role of playing loving mother . . . not only to her birth children, but to nieces and nephews, and, up to the age of 68, to foster children, in particular, babies with special needs.

The more I hear the about the patient’s life I become ever more consciously aware of  Love’s peaceful presence in the room.

I’m reminded of Rumi’s quote, Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.

Clearly on this October evening in an East Austin nursing home, I am hearing the rich blessings of life’s Loving dropping their sweetest blossoms.

Loving you,

Robert, aka Bob

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