Gloria on: A Time to Take

When I was 16 years old I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to become a nurse.  I geared my high school curriculum with this in mind, taking a few college courses before-hand so I could accomplish my goal in a timely way.   I never read much as a kid so had no heroes such as Florence Nightingale and there were no medical people in my family.  Except for a broken arm when I was nine I had no real exposure to the field of medical science until I went away to nursing school.  I just somehow knew I’d “found my niche”.  No doubt It was related to the comfort zone I had found in the imagined role of taking care of every one in my family.

I’ve been a health-care giver for most of the past three and a half decades now, never dreaming I would be on the receiving end, especially as a cancer patient, a full decade before I am even old enough to retire! Alas, most of the “helping professions” have a down side, attracting those of us who would prefer not being an equal.  I’m finally learning that my very “giving” nature is in part responsible for a life out of balance with its subsequent health hazard.  I’m finally discovering this balance and sincerely believe that “give” AND “take” is where it’s at.

As an in-patient, I recently found out that the cleaning ladies normally make the beds here for the patients each day while they are having their various treatments.  In my “good girl” way I was carefully making my bed each day, even hanging the “do not disturb” sign on the outside of my door, trying to save “the help” from having to bother with my room.  When that didn’t work and I realized their job description included a daily routine of floor and bathroom cleaning, as well as bed tidying, I finally accepted the fact and even started to leave my bed unmade, symbolizing to myself that it’s high time I learned to take from someone who wanted to give to me!

Friendships flourish on this basis and while I have dear and wonderful friends, I’m not sure I’ve always been so wonderfully dear to have as a friend.  My tendency to “carry the world” has been an intimacy barrier for me in some ways.  I’m untouchably invincible when I’m giving in excess.  Only when I’m in crisis will I readily take support from others so there has been a lop-sidedness in my relationships that I’m realizing HAS TO GO!  The healthiest relationships are based on equality where lots of giving and taking are going on from both sides.  Even with the language barrier here, I’ve picked up that people want me to communicate my needs better.  If you’re cold, just ask for a blanket!  They can’t read my mind and I’m certainly not bothering anyone when I ask for something I need.

Jesus role-modeled the right balance when he asked for a drink from the woman at the well, or invited Himself to supper with a tax collector or received the gift of perfume annointing Him for His burial.  Even Jesus was dependent on others for a place to lay his head.  The ability to receive is as much a virtue as the ability to give.

One Response to “Gloria on: A Time to Take”

  1. Gaylen Hickok Says:

    We have noted the length of you have in your Cancer cure.
    It seems the treatment is of a experimental nature. Including travel to Germany. A cost facture. Todays update noted you are again on Chemo theray.
    My wife, Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer in Oct 2008. She had a biopsy to learn it was stage 1 duct cell carinoma. Next it was surgery for a lumpectomy. Then it was folloed up with 34 radiation treatments which were completed Feb 25, 1009. She did very well with no serious side effects from the therapy. The Lord blessed.
    Now she has a F/U with her oncologist in May and mammal grams every six months.
    We hpe the Dr’s soon find a treatment that works for you. One doesn’t know how much time we have left.

    Happy Sabbath,
    Gaylen & Jane Hickok

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