This week, I heard these words, “I brought you the softest towel I could find.” It is only in the context of these words that they have power. I have spent the past four days at my mother’s bedside, at Bromley Manor in Manchester, while she received Hospice care. I asked the young woman who was an aide to my mother for a towel so I could take a shower. She returned 15 minutes later and voiced those words.
The towel was just like any other towel. If I went looking for a towel, I would take one off the top. I was not the one dying, so I required no special attention. I only needed the towel to dry off, and any towel would have been appreciated. If it were me getting the towel for my mother, I would taken the first one available.
By her words, she made the towel sacred. It became a gift of love. It was a gift of grace. It expressed caring and tenderness and compassion. It became a lesson to remind me how we could all be if we took the time to “look for the softest towel.”
The entire staff caring for my mother would also look for the "softest blanket," as I observed by their actions. There was an aura of healing about the facility. Many of the staff had been trained by a dear friend of my family, Millie Dunn, RN. If they were not trained by her, they knew her. Millie had cared for my dad and though living far away in Florida, her presence was felt in my mother’s room.
My mother was a person who helped others and would bring them "the softest towel" she could find to comfort them.
If we all would take the time to "look for the softest towel," we all would be in a better place.
God knows we need it.
Theodore W. Day lives in Castleton.