Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We look for the silver....

....lining, as the old saying goes. The flowers strewn along our steep and rocky path. The diamonds in the rough.

As you can see, I've taken some time to reacquaint myself with a very good friend of mine - my camera. Out in the healing garden, I absorb the peaceful surroundings and lose myself in capturing a goldfish, a waterfall, spring flowers. How lucky we are to have this hidden paradise, this center of calm, amidst the harsh reality of disease.

David has been out in the healing garden 3 or 4 times since my last post. He tilts his face up to the sun and lets out a sigh of contentment. So relaxing, so nice to enjoy the warmth and healing golden rays. Some days he's too tired. Some days the weather is rainy, but on good days we go out. Just for half an hour more or less, but at least we have this time.

We've also made friends with the volunteers. They are truly incredible people. I did not know just how valuable to the hospital these dedicated souls are. There is one sweet gentleman with white hair who brings my husband his morning coffee and newspaper every day.
Every day.
He never takes a day off. He's always there. You will see him feeding elderly patients, pushing a wheelchair in the garden, accompanying someone to an outside appointment, fetching towels or soap for a bath. He does everything with a smile.

Another one is a wee, tiny little old lady (I'm sure she's 85 or so), who comes around every afternoon with the "snack cart."
"Tea, coffee, cookies, ice cream?"
I sometimes feel like a kid again at somebody's birthday party, being served cookies and ice cream. But she's a dear. And so tiny, she reminds me of a doll with her clear blue eyes and soft white hair.

Oh, and there's Spa Day.
Spa Day happens once a week.
The patient is taken from their bed and put right onto a bath stretcher, covered up with flannel sheets and wheeled down the hall to the Spa Room.

It's dark when you first enter the room.
Ah, but then you see the tiny tea lights glowing softly from the walls and shelves. These are made to look like candles (real candles being forbidden of course) lending a romantic atmosphere.
Champagne cooling in a silver bucket beckons invitingly from a shelf (no it's not real).
Lovely relaxing music plays in the background.
An ocean scene has been painted on the wall to give the illusion of being at the beach.
The bath stretcher is lowered into the tub. The patient doesn't even have to move. They just lie there, secured to the stretcher while fragrant warm water rushes into the tub. Luxuriant bubbles foam up around the person, as much for modesty as for fun, I think.

There is an oxygen outlet on the wall, so hubby can plug in. No worries. The staff are good. I sit nearby and watch. Hubby is fine. He's relaxed and soothed. It's such a treat that the nurses all joke that they need a Spa too!
"No, I'm next!" I joke along with them all.
And we laugh.
It feels good to laugh.


Karin said...

Your photos are stunning! What
gorgeous spots for you to enjoy, relax and breathe in deeply. I just love the way you describe the volunteers! Aren't they amazing folks!! Praise God that all that silver lining!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Wendy, I'm so impressed with that hospital and the Healing Garden. David is truly in a great place --and I know it helps you to know that he is getting such good care. I cannot believe the SPA Room... Wow--that's awesome...

I know you haven't had time to keep up with our blogs these days, but I did want you to know that I've had a rough month myself (nothing like you and David are having though).

I started having horrible pain in my left knee. I got to the place that I couldn't walk. SO--last Thursday, I had Arthroscopic Knee Surgery on my left knee. I'm doing better --but still having alot of pain. For me, who has never been sick much, this has been VERY hard...

Sorry I haven't been there so much for you--but I do think of you and David and pray for you daily.

Cheryl said...

Dear sounds as though you have found a wonderful place for David. Full of people that give so willingly, with a kind heart and cheering spirit. These are the people that often hide in the shadows, doing such good work but making nothing of it.

I am so very pleased to read that David managed to get to the healing garden and lift his face to the sun. I can understand the contented sigh......

I hold you both in my thoughts. May David's day be full of peace and quietness. May you have the strength to meet each day with calmness and a smile......

Maggie May said...

Wonderful, wonderful people, who volunteer. They seem to be like angels always there for other people.
I love the sound of that spa.

Love your photos, especially of the fish in that lovely pond.
Glad David can get to the Secret Garden whenever possible.
Thoughts and prayers with you both.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Teacher's Pet said...

I hope you didn't mind that I took the trip with you to the garden....beautiful photographs...and I'm so thankful for the staff, the facilities, the love and caring....and the healing.
"Thank you God for healing...and I lift my prayers now for David and Wendy. Continue to be with them, Lord. Amen."

Hilary said...

It sounds like you've found the best people who surround you and David. I like the idea that there are so many ways to induce comfort and relaxation. And good for you for not neglecting your own joys of photography. And good for us that you're sharing. Best thoughts to you and David.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Oh Wendy! So much to be thankful for. I love all your photos you have taken. There is so much beauty surrounding you. So lovely to think of David still able to get out into the Healing garden and enjoy the fresh air and the warming sun. Doesn't it do your heart good to see how loving people can be at a time when you need them the most? There are so many good people in the world. It's too bad we focus on the negative more often than not.

I keep you and David in my thoughts and prayers daily. I always check at least once a day to see if you have posted, and it is so good to get an update. It is good to know that David is in such a caring facility. What a wonderful idea to have a Spa Day--and you are right--you need one too! Take care of yourself, my friend.

Hugs filled with love,

amelia said...

How absolutely wonderful that David can relax this way!! How wonderful that you can relax knowing that he's getting the very best care possible, it must be such a great weight off your mind.
Hospital volunteers are such very special people and it certainly sounds as if you have some very special people there.
Like the others, you are in my thoughts daily, I pray this journey won't be too hard for either of you...

mxtodis123 said...

What a beautiful place!!! I am so glad that David has been able to get out, and you and he have been able to spend some time there. Been thinking a lot about you.

Rose said...

Such lovely photos, Wendy; I can see how this garden can help to restore your spirit. And I'm so glad that David has been able to enjoy it, too--such moments are surely good for the soul.

Our local hospital has a wonderful group of volunteers, too. Always smiling, they provide so many extra services that the hospital couldn't otherwise staff. As Morning Glories said, it's so good to be reminded that there are so many good people in the world--we just don't hear about them enough.

It sounds as though you've found a wonderful, caring place for David--Spa Day sounds heavenly! Thanks for taking a moment to visit me. I, too, think of you often and wonder how things are going; somehow I missed seeing this post this morning, so I appreciate the update. Take care of yourself, Wendy, and know that we are sending you love and peace.

Deborah said...

Beautiful. All of it. The garden, your photos, your words. Your bravery. Sending love and strength to you, Deb

Celia said...

Such a delightful garden. So glad that you and David can enjoy it. And that spa, such genius. It's a new one to me. So glad you have found this place. You're in my prayers dear ones.

Abba's Girl said...

It's amazing how small kindnesses are such a big blessings to us when we face a tough situation. Thinking of you.


Shammickite said...

I'm glad that your husband has been able to find pleasure and serenity in the garden. Sunshine on his face must feel really wonderful for him.

JeanMac said...

Oh, Wendy, think of you and David everyday. The healing garden is beautiful and I'm glad he can enjoy it. The spa sounds lovely, too. Take care of yourself, also.

hummer said...

Awesome! the best word I can come up with on all fronts of your post.
Volunteers are a wonderful breed.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wendy, I'm so glad that you can take some time off and let the hospital staff do the needful. The place sounds amazing! And the garden, more so.

Your photos~~loved them all! The pink of the blooms seems to jump out of my screen:)) So beautiful!

Take care...and thanks for all your messages on my blog.

Teacher's Pet said...

Hi Wendy...Checking in to see how you are doing..and to let you know that I'm thinking of you.

Gledwood said...

I've only just found your blogs. It was the faeriebubbly portrait that attracted me. When you talk about a healing garden, and I noticed your other blog is titled caregiving, I take it you're talking of a hospice?

I always donate my old stuff (when I have anything good enough to give) to the hospice shop, because of all the charities, they are doing what I believe in most...

... anyway, wherever it is, what an amazing garden! And what an enormous goldfish. Or carp. (Whatever it is) ;-)

I wish you both all the best ;-)

KleinsteMotte said...

Wendy it's nice that you found your fiend the camera. Your photos are spectacular.Healing places and helpful smiling volunteers make the daily routines special. It's a blessing that you have great support and can enjoy some happy moments. Praying for you.

Beth Niquette said...

Ah Wendy--dear sweet friend. You are in my prayers. I am so glad you have the healing Garden. These photos have a special quality about them and they fill my eyes.


Shammickite said...

Still thinking of you and your husband.