This past weekend at work, I cared for an elderly gentleman who was near the end of his life. His sweet wife, who rarely left his bedside, tearfully told me of her decision to place him in an inpatient hospice unit the next day. She said, "We've taken care of each other for 63 years. It breaks my heart that now, at the end of his life, I'm not able to take care of him. There's not a lot I can do for him anymore."
We all knew her mere presence meant the world to him and we shared that conversation, as well as a hug and a few tears. Then I asked the patient if there was anything I could do to make him more comfortable. His reply: "Is there any way you could get me some vanilla ice cream? That would be so good." Ah, a man after my own heart!
So, of course, I brought him vanilla ice cream. And then again and again. And his precious wife, who felt as though she had nothing left to offer him, sat by his side and fed him ice cream. It was an act of love, pure and simple, between two people who had shared all the joys and sorrows of 63 years of life together. And I can't tell you how many times through the night I teared up while watching them. Nor can I tell you how many times I said thank you to Jesus for the love in my life. For the man at my side who takes such good care of me, of whose love I am sure, and who I know, at the end of my life, will be right next to me feeding me ice cream.