Recently I was lucky to watch a family of Sand Hill Cranes during their morning walk. In this small community in Winter Haven, they go from one lake to the other, with the help of Sand Hill Crane Crossing Warnings. The parents were attentive, always checking to see if their wayward children were safe, not too far from them, and staying away from the water’s edge where a gator might be looking for breakfast.
As I watched them I thought about the benefit of supportive families. How it is such a blessing to have the support during times of illness or emotional stress. Recently in one of my classes a student mentioned that during her illness, it upset and worried her mom so much she couldn’t be there for her and even months later their relationship was strained. Thankfully her boyfriend was there for her
What I have observed in the outpatient cancer centers is that support comes from biological families as well as dear friends and neighbors. Parents sit with children, children tend to parents. Sibling bring lunch and help past the time with running commentaries of sporting events they have been to or the latest photos of various family gatherings. Caregivers knit, read, entertain themselves with tv, anything to keep their loved one company. I have even witness a husband sing to his wife as she received chemotherapy. The presence of a loved one is always felt and appreciated.
Not everyone is blessed to have loving and caring families. Research shows that support is important during illness. Hopefully, if you don’t have close family, you have someone in your community; church, work, neighbors, friends, who will fill in when you need it.
For years I have watched healing relationships, hopefully when my time comes to be helped or help I will have put all the compassionate examples to good use.