A person, who’s job it is to plant seeds for a food baring plant, mundanely makes his way from one end of the field to the other, just as they have for the past several years of their life. As they make their way through this wasteland of dirt, they are dropping a hard wrinkled dried up seed in a hole, and as it leaves their hand they may think “I hope this one makes it”. They use their dusty worn shoe to cover the hole and in all probability will never think of this seed again. This seed begins to germinate and flourish into a fertile plant over flowing with food to feed many families. One year later this same person is walking the same field, planting the same seed and thinking the same thoughts when a young family walks up. This family stops the person and thanks them for all they have done in years past. They thank them for the daily mundane task that the seed planter thinks goes unrecognized. This seed planter stops, he turns and looks at this young, healthy, happy family and he realized the small task of planting that seed, performing that small mundane act was always meant for a larger purpose. This is my way of explaining Connection to Purpose. It is that small task that effects a larger purpose.
This past week I was asked to go to New Hanover Regional Medical Center and speak to the Emergency Department’s new nurse residents, what an honor it was to speak to these young nurses. When I am asked to speak at the hospital, whether it be to trauma surgeons, doctors, nurses, administration staff, chief of staffs or members of the board, and get to tell Lindsay’s story, I considerate it a privilege. I also speak to remind them, never forget your “Connection to Purpose.” This connection to purpose is an everyday event for the entire staff at NHRMC. I try to remind them that just because they don’t know the patient, they don’t know the family they will forever be apart of the family’s life in one way or the other. These doctors, nurses and even administrative staff have made some sort of impact in the patients life, the family’s life. I watched my daughter lie in a hospital bed for a solid week and not once was there any question of her treatment or care and her integrity was always completely intact. Every person that came in contact with Lindsay and my family had a connection to purpose. These people, these medically trained people, have a job and it is to treat and save lives, but what they don’t realize they also change lives, the lives of each and every family that pace the halls of that hospital hoping and praying for a positive outcome. These doctors and nurses work under unspeakable pressure and the stress to heal a families loved one, I am sure, is unbearable at times. I lost my daughter, and I believe with everything in me that every single person that had anything to do with treatment did all they could do to save her life. There is no doubt in my mind that they went above and beyond, and used every means available to heal her broken body. As I told Lindsay’s story and ended my speech to these ED nurse interns this is what I told them,
“I want to say a personal thank you to each and every one of you. Please don’t ever let your job become mundane, or take it for granted, because no matter the outcome of your heroics in the emergency department believe me the patients and their family appreciate you. You may never see them for that verbal confirmation, but they do. And please don’t ever think that you are not thought of or prayed for every day, because you are. May God continue to give you the wisdom, knowledge, patience and compassion to keep moving forward for your patients and their families. Because you are not only the healers of the sick and injured, you are the healers of hearts, hopes, families and dreams.
It is not just the medical field in which a connection to purpose applies, its every person on the planet earth. Sometime, somewhere and somehow during the span of our lifetime we will have an influence, make an impression, or lead someone without even knowing it. We could live our entire life and never know that what we said, what we did or how we acted set the path for the next President of the United States, a future CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a child that becomes a adult, then becomes a parent that loves their children, loves their spouse and together they are connected to a larger purpose, all because of the small task someone did for them. Below is a story that was told to Kelli and myself on Saturday by a friend.
“My sister is going through a bitter divorce in New York, where they both have let anger control their reactions, sometimes losing sight that the love for their beautiful daughter is most important. Both my sister and her husband are wonderful parents. They have gone to court ordered counseling, a mediator and co parenting classes. I sent my sister and her husband Brad’s blog, I will admit I included some of mine own “stern words”. I grew up with divorced parents who in nice terms couldn’t be in the same room without a disagreement. I did not want that way of life for my niece. I, myself, have 3 boys, 2 of my heart and one of my body. We all have found a way to co parent because that is what was best for our boys. Brad’s blog spoke to both of them, my sister and her husband, they both showed up at their co parent counseling appointment with a print out of my email and have made steps to work together. When my sister and her husband appeared back in court with the counselor the judge asked, “What has caused this change? Why should I believe that they are going to work towards the best interest of their daughter?” The counselor handed the judge a copy of Brad’s blog. After reading it and with tears in her eyes she made this statement “In my line of work it is easy to forget that angels do exist.” I’m very grateful for Brads honesty and heartfelt blogs. He said today that he started this to help him heal but in doing so you ALL are also helping others in ways you may not have imagined.”
After I heard this I began to see my connection to purpose, I began to see that what I am doing is not falling on deaf ears, that what I am doing is making a difference in some one’s life. I started this blog and agreed to speak to try and heal my heart, and tell the story of my daughter and our family. If it helps to heal one family’s wounds, if it can make that nurse that has just finished a 14 hours shift know that they are appreciated, that surgeon that used his God given talent to try and save a life, but did not succeed, know that they are admired, if it can help one father or mother after the loss of a child know they will not be forgotten, if it can help put aside the anger and hurt of two parents so they can remember what is truly important, their children, then my daughter did not die in vain and there is true triumph in tragedy, triumph through a connection to purpose.