In both cases, I saw or heard something that made me think of each of them. In both cases, it was something I wished I could have done for them or with them, but it is no longer possible, for one reason or another.
In Jane's case, I wished she could have been with me, making things for the homeless and for nursing home residents. She loved to make things, as I do. She loved our mobile home community. Then, I realized it was doing me no good to dwell on what could no longer be. For a few moments, I turned my thoughts to all the things we did together as friends in the past four decades. I was amazed at how much comfort that brought me.
In my sister's case, I felt very bad because I can no longer talk to her on the phone. She cannot hold the phone close enough to her ear, long enough, for even a brief hello. She is also in a very lethargic state. I don't even know if she would be aware if I sent flowers. I felt as though I were neglecting her. Then, I turned my thoughts to the past four years she has spent in long-term care, before this past few months. In all that time, I covered the costs of a phone in her room and talked to her daily. I sent her a fun box every week that she loved to open; she enjoyed stuffing her nightstand drawers with sugar-free goodies, flameless LED candles, anything I could think of to brighten her days. In this case, too, I was amazed at how much comfort it brought me.
I know that there are cases where I could have done more. Or, cases where I could have done something sooner. But I did as much as I could. I don't ever want to stop trying to help others. These days, though, I can't do as much as I used to, but I can still do a little here and there.
Dear God, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the things you have helped me do for others. Please forgive me for dragging my feet in some cases, or for forgetting my intentions in other cases; and please fill me with the grace I need to be there for anyone you place on my path.