First let me offer my heartfelt gratitude for those friends and family who took the time to offer words of compassion when I recently lost my cat, Misha.  Your words have helped me through this loss and I am blessed by your caring.  Your kindness led me to write more about expressions of caring and how important it is in times of loss or difficulty.

It was many decades ago at a time when I was a young mother with two small daughters and was expecting my third child.  The pregnancy had gone in a rather routine manner until I arrived at the beginning of the last trimester.  I started to have contractions that would lead to labor and was immediately put on bed rest.  Even with bed rest the contractions persisted until finally I was in full labor and found myself in the hospital delivery room giving birth way too soon.  It was hoped that the pregnancy was far enough along and the baby well developed enough that there would still be a positive outcome.  Then to the surprise of all, I delivered not one, but two infants - twin boys.  The fact that I was carrying twins had not been detected at any time during the pregnancy.  This surely complicated the matter as they were so small, we lived in a small town with limited medical facilities and it was long enough ago that neonatal procedures were not as well developed as they are now.  So the watching and waiting began.  In the first day after delivery we lost one....and then the next day his brother followed.

So instead of taking a baby home....there was now a funeral to plan.  In the process of this planning it became evident that it was going to be difficult to find any baby clothing small enough to fit these tiny infants.  I had a friend and neighbor by the name of Georgia who stepped up and offered to make burial gowns.  She stayed up all one night not only sewing these two gowns of the softest white baby cotton, but she also did the most delicate embroidery on each of them - making them so very beautiful.  I was so deeply and profoundly touched at her generosity and so grateful for her thoughtful gift of compassion.

Georgia's willingness to offer such a gift of caring at a time of great loss in my life has left a lasting impression in my heart.  Even though it is decades later I still feel such gratitude to her for her generous spirit and kind service at a time that it was surely needed it.  Her expression of love and compassion is such a great example of caring in action.

I am reminded how important it is to be that supportive, caring person for those who are going though times of loss or difficulty and are in need of compassionate service.  It may not require such a large act of the heart - a kind word, a card or a visit may be all that is needed.  Whatever your heart tells you is your gift to help support someone you care for through a crisis.

Caring doesn't have to cost anything - all it takes is willingness and the effort to act.....and like most things worth doing, it might not be easy.  So too often we find that it is a rare commodity - which is what makes it so very valuable.  It seems that in the expression of caring we can find so many excuses to delay our action - we are too busy, we don't know what to say or do to ease the pain, we feel helpless or indifferent, fear of rejection or a myriad of other things that might get in our way.  What is important to remember is that the person only wants to know that someone cares enough to acknowledge their loss - for caring in itself lifts the heart and eases the burden.

Remember that no act of kindness or expression of caring is too small - nor is it ever wasted - it may have lifelong importance to the one who receives it - like my magnanimous experience with Georgia.

Being human we are all connected, being human we need one another - remember that caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings solace and happiness to both the giver and the receiver.

In peace...........Margie