Talk about serendipity. Today started off with a call to 911, ended with a successful surgery, and along the way included a chance meeting with one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.
This morning my Aunt slipped on some ice and ended up breaking her hip.
My Aunt Eileen is an amazing woman. She is 79 years old, but she could easily pass for someone 10-15 years younger. She lives with my 88 year old mom, and basically acts as her caregiver. In addition to that full-time job, she also manages to keep in touch with all of her grandnephews and nieces, as well as her great grand nephews and nieces, often using social media to do so. Somehow she remembers all of their names, as well as all of their birthdays! She is someone special.
I spent most of the day at the hospital keeping my Aunt company, first in the ER and then in the patient room my Aunt was transferred to. She was in quite a bit of pain, but kept a positive attitude throughout the day.
The staff, as always, was caring and professional. But one person, David, stood out.
David was the person who transported my Aunt from the ER to her room. As we walked down the hallway, David began to serenade my Aunt with a song about a woman named Eileen. Not only did David have a beautiful voice, but you could tell he was singing from the heart.
When he finished singing, he engaged my Aunt in a conversation about how much he was honored to be wheeling her to her room. Along the way, he had a kind word to say to everyone he saw, and he seemed to know everyone.
I had a chance to talk with David a little bit. He told me had been working in hospital transport for almost 10 years, and it was obvious he loved his job just as much today as he did 10 years ago.
He also told me that he had just gotten a new job, one he had been waiting to hear about for almost 11 years. He had been hired by the City of Philadelphia to be a security guard at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
I mentioned that he probably wouldn’t be able to sing to people at the library, but he said he sings with his inside voice. He also said there’s a lot of people who come into the library who have nowhere else to go, the homeless, the unemployed, and others who are struggling. He says he makes time to boost their spirits, and will occasionally sing to them very quietly.
David just works at the hospital occasionally, and so I felt fortunate that our paths crossed. It’s not often you meet someone who finds such joy in what he does, and is able to brighten the day of everyone he meets, particularly those who are in pain, whether at a hospital or at a public library.
I tried to think what David’s secret was, and it seemed to come down to being willing to share your gifts with others, looking for the best in others, and always having a kind word to say to everyone you meet. I guess it’s not really a secret at all.
So a tip of the hat to David; the world could use more people like you, the Singing Orderly.