The simple sacrifice of time has profound impact on patient, family

Doug Hornsby, CEO of Signature affiliate Silver Angels Home Care Services, shares a story about the simple sacrifice of time as a display of compassion and faith…

I want to tell you a story, a love story, one full of magic, simple magic, the magic of love of one person to another with true unconditional love.

Often in life, we are so busy with our own wants and desires that we only get passing glimpses of how God really intended us to live our lives with one another. We lose focus on what really counts in the journey of life. Of course this happens to all of us but I feel it’s a responsibility of all of us to always help each other get back to the way God intended us to live. He wanted us to give and love each other as our highest priority. In fact, in the Christian faith, Christ commands it. He places emphasis that giving and love are the most important commandments.

In July 2010 we took on the responsibility of caring for Ms. Gertrude Gilley of Mountain City, TN. She received all of our services as Shirley Potter became her caregiver. Ms. Gilley has a small family and Shirley quickly became one of them.

Shirley provided her daily care but went above and beyond the care plan. Ms. Gilley had a love for flowers and sunshine. They were very important to her.  Shirley took time to make sure Ms. Gilley had a flower bed well maintained and in full bloom. In the beauty of her flowerbed, Shirley would have a place for Ms. Gilley to sit under her umbrella enjoying both sunshine and the blooms of her roses. When you look at the pictures above, you’ll see Ms. Gilley enjoying both with a smile.

Shirley gave Ms. Gilley the most important thing anyone can give another – time. Not just time, but time where it was only about Ms. Gilley. She let nothing interrupt their time with each other. She gave Ms. Gilley the feeling of being special this way. This is a rare thing today as people only give you glances of time, as they manage their phones and computers while pretending to be with you.

What makes this story better is that Shirley had given herself to Ms. Gilley when she had completed this journey of life and passed on to the next. The story goes this way. Teresa Clark, the Area Director, came to me and said she wanted me to travel to Mountain City and attend Ms. Gilley’s funeral. Teresa was concerned, due to the small size of Ms. Gilley’s family, that there would not be many people there.

So, off we went and as we arrived and entered the funeral parlor, I heard beautiful piano music and someone singing like an angel. When I looked up, it was an angel; it was Shirley, a Silver Angel. Not only was she playing the piano and singing, but entertaining Ms. Gilley’s great grandson. As she would play, he would hit an occasional key and look to Shirley for approval. As the service progressed, the funeral staff and family directed Shirley to her place among the family. As the service ended, we all stood while the family began to exit. Then there was Shirley, walking out with the family behind the casket en route to the grave yard. I stood there so honored and proud to be a member of Silver Angels and a team member of Shirley’s. So, as Ms. Gilley started her new journey, Shirley was there on her own time, singing, making music and entertaining her great grandson.  She was there, standing with the family as Ms. Gilley’s new journey of life began.

Think about it: if Silver Angels never existed, what would have happened to Ms. Gilley? This is one of many stories we have but are often lost or not told.

My belief is that we honored not only Ms. Gilley, but as my faith sees it, we honored Him by loving Ms. Gilley unconditionally. In the end, Shirley gave Ms. Gilley her unconditional love and time. This is just the beginning for Ms. Gilley. What a blessing it is to give and to be a part of a group that puts the mission and vision that we have into action.

Faith, along with action, equals everything that is right about life.

– Doug Hornsby, CEO, Silver Angels

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