I have been very touched by the outpouring of kindness from readers, both whom I know and others I don’t, since my father’s passing a couple of weeks ago. Most people never know what a small gesture of kindness, sympathy or just being there can mean to someone who is in emotional pain.

Let me validate that it means more than words can express.

At my father’s funeral last week, he was not only honored as a veteran, but as a friend to so many people. The stories people told about my dad, the little things he did that impacted their lives, confirmed that these small acts make an incredible, lasting impression.

The Kindness of Strangers, and Friends, Jackie Vance

This leads me to think of what we do on a daily basis. Sometimes we don’t realize the impact of just being there has on our residents. But the impact is great. A caring look, a kind word, a soft touch; all of these seemingly little actions are conversely immense. We have the ability to give comfort by just showing up and caring. And isn’t our innate need to give care the reason most of us went into this field?

I read these beatitudes for a caregiver and wanted to share:

Blessed are those who care and who are not afraid to show it — they will let people know they are loved.

Blessed are those who are gentle and patient — they will help people to grow as the sun helps the buds to open and blossom.

Blessed are those who have the ability to listen — they will lighten many a burden.

Blessed are those who know how and when to let go — they will have the joy of seeing people find themselves.

Blessed are those who, when nothing can be done or said, do not walk away, but remain to provide a comforting and supportive presence — they will help the sufferer to bear the unbearable.

Blessed are those who recognize their own need to receive, and who receive with graciousness — they will be able to give all the better.

Blessed are those who give without hope of return — they will give people an experience of God.

— Author unknown

Thank you for what you’ve done for me. Thank you for what you do every day.

Just keeping it (thankful and) real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.