Thought #1 If joy seems unattainable in your current situation, help someone else.
A kind word, a listening ear, an act of service.
When wallowing in self-pity begins to fit like a worn pair of slippers, it’s time to retire that pair of slippers.
Sure, choosing to look beyond your condition might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s the most productive and healthy choice you can make today.
Ray got me thinking about all of this. Ray is an elderly man who lives in the same assisted living house as my dad. I like Ray. He looks like Morgan Freeman. He also sits on the back porch and drinks coffee like it’s water. You see why I was predestined to like Ray? But, the only thing I really know about Ray is that he had a stroke some time ago that left him unable to fully articulate his words or his thoughts. He also has cancer and is going through chemotherapy.
Sometimes my dad has days when all he feels like doing is sleeping. Today was one of those days. During one of his waking moments, I convinced him to let Francis, his caretaker, get him into his wheelchair so we could spend some time sitting on the back porch together. Ray was out there drinking his coffee.
My dad sat in his wheelchair half asleep and he and I only exchanged a few words. Every few minutes Ray would look at my dad with the most concerned look in his eyes and on his face . And every few minutes he would grunt my dad’s name and ask him if he was okay.
My dad would nod yes and Ray would go back to drinking his coffee and looking at the birds. This happened 3 or 4 times until one time when Ray asked his question my dad shook his head instead of nodding. Knowing my dad I knew that he just wanted Ray to stop asking him if he was okay…but Ray took it to mean that my dad was not okay. Ray’s hand immediately shot up and he started grunting for Francis to come to my dad’s aid.
Francis told me that Ray is always watching over everyone.
I like Ray.
Thought # 2 “Gratitude is the foundation of joy.” ~ Nabeel Qureshi
I read this quote on Twitter the other day and find it to be accurate.
If gratitude is the foundation of joy then service are the walls. I think Ray understands this.
On Saturday, I went to the Barnes & Noble in town and bought my dad a large print copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. 365 days of encouragement. 365 days of words designed to get our eyes off our situations and onto the One who is bigger. I pray my dad reads it.
The reading for that day seemed fitting: