Today’s Seva story #66 of 100 comes from Randi who lives in Seattle. Seva means selfless service for the benefit of all. I am collecting 100 stories to share ideas, inspiration and positive news. Randi writes,
“A Blessed Volunteer
The call from a hospice staffer came on a rainy November night. “Your Shanti client is actively dying, “ he said. “If you want to say goodbye you should come now.”
As a Shanti volunteer, I had been visiting William for 5 months, starting when I was 3 months pregnant. He lived in a hospice for HIV/AIDS patients. The illness had given him dementia, but he was pleasant, upbeat and sunny. He always recognized me, though he couldn’t remember my name. His disjointed stories indicated family had rejected him when he came out gay. He loved movies and wanted to share his favorite, called “Mannequin” with me. We watched it together in his room and when the mannequin came alive, William burst into tears.
Last time we’d visited I delivered the sparkly women’s sneakers from a local discount store that he’d requested, assuring me, “The hospice staff will reimburse you.” When I asked the staff they fussed, “Some of this money was ear-marked for his Christmas gifts….”
Now, eight-months pregnant, I drove across town to spend a final evening with William, thinking he won’t live to see Christmas; good thing I brought him those shoes that he loves.
In his room a priest was giving final rites, an unknown woman held his hand. I took the other. His breath was short and labored. I murmured a few words of love and encouragement. After a while I went out to the staff office where two of them warmly greeted me. I said I wanted to attend his funeral. They assured me they’d call with details. “Let’s bless you and your baby!” one said. Then they both put their hands on my big, round belly and blessed us.”
Please share your Seva story with me so we can spread the Seva. Aloha and Namaste, Johanna Waters firstname.lastname@example.org