Sorry it has been so long!
Hi friends. Sorry it has been so long since we’ve posted last. Life has a way of taking each of us down unexpected twists and turns. These past several weeks have really taken me on a personal journey of discovery, of new opportunities, and of new friendships.
A Journey of Discovery
As I approach nearly six decades of living, life never seems to get any easier. Yes, there is wisdom in living, having learned from earlier experiences and failures. But life always seems to present new situations that take adjusting to.
This past summer was a test of my optimism, my hope, and my fortitude. Just when I thought I had developed a sense of inner self-worth and well-being, a couple of events occurred that have put the realities of my present point in life in center view.
I have always been a consummate, experienced IT Management Professional. I’m an Elder Geek who’s been gainfully employed and active in IT since the days of 6502 Assembly Language (Think Apple II computers). I was around before PONG wasn’t even a thing, when “sneaker-net” was just the way we helped move files between computers. Time and technology, like tides, are a constant changing force.
Blessedly, I have been able to evolve. During those early days, I quickly learned that one must be dynamic and agile with their professional skills. Evolve or be left behind. Fail to learn new skills and you will become an anachronism, headed for the Rainbow Bridge where RPG and COBOL programmers crossover into the ever-lasting IBM mainframe abyss.
I’ve always been proud of my IT skill set. It is broad and vast. I am very good at what I do.
I end up getting a few offers this summer, but I ultimately made a choice to partner with a new firm that is focused on having a meaningful impact in my local community. And that has presented me with unexpected but welcomed new friends.
Making New Friends!
Late this summer, I took a position with a local Hospice and Palliative care organization here in Upstate, NY. I’ve been on the job with them for several weeks now and it has been a gift. There are a couple young Jedi Padawans in the IT Team that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know. I love freely giving of my knowledge, helping to mentor and train those on my team. It’s been a real joy to see the hunger in the Next Generation and to be in a position to mentor and guide them.
But my new position is one where I’ve received the gift of many new friends. My Young Jedi, Wil and Nate, my new companions, Chris and Antonio, and a whole new team of GOOD PEOPLE are all working together to do the important work together of caring for those patients (and their families) here at Hospice & Palliative Care of Buffalo (HPCB). There are nurses, health care aids, volunteers and so many others who come here to help families in need of Hospice and Palliative care. Many of the patients here are in the end stages of their lives, some with very short term outlooks.
So I see it as my GIFT to offer a smile, a kind word of encouragement to all who I encounter throughout the work week. No, I’m not a nurse or a doctor myself. But if I can use my spirit to help uplift those around me, well . . . let’s just say I find that opportunity meaningful.
Hudson The Good Boy!
At my new job, I’ve had the pleasure of making one very special new friend. His name is Hudson. He’s a five year old Bernese Mountain Dog. Did I say how handsome and good looking this Good Boy is? Let me tell you . . . Hudson has a very casual laid back approach and almost debonair look and style! He smiles at everyone! He’s such a handsome fella!
Hudson is our campus therapy dog. He’s on the job pretty much M-F, always strolling around the campus. It’s his primary job of bringing his comfort to the family and patients who come into our campus during difficult trials. But he also is often walking around the administrative areas where our employees and volunteers are, giving selflessly of himself to anyone in need. (If you’re in the building administrative offices, you may occasionally catch a shout at Hudson as he tries to pilfer a jelly donut or unattended ham sammy! Hey . . . a hard working boy’s gotta eat, right?)
I’ve also met some wonderful volunteers who, like Hudson, are onsite, freely giving of themselves and their time to others. It is a wonderful place.
Giving and Taking
We all have stresses and anxieties. We all have our challenges at every stage of life. As I started off earlier in this story, finding work as I’ve reached into my late fifth decade in life has been eye opening. But with Jedi Padawan Wil and Nate, they too have life struggles of learning new skills, building their own hopes and dreams of a successful future. Nurses and HCAs have struggles in coping with the difficult job of helping patients and their families. Our patients and families are walking through incredibly taxing times as loved ones near their end.
We all have times of need where we hope to be receivers of kindness, prayer, warm thoughts and support from others.
Being here at this new place has reinforced how important it is to show good will to others. It is good to give a smile, to say a kind word, or to even just offer someone who you know is struggling a warm touch or embrace. We all have the opportunity, no matter our circumstances, to GIVE to those around us. A smile costs us nothing, nor does a warm touch on the shoulder, or a kind word offered to someone else.
With Hudson the Good Boy, we see him always smiling. But I know he carries with him, willingly, the cares and worries of those who reach out to him, offering to shoulder them while giving back a bright smile or lick of the tongue. He charges nothing. He just gives.
In our world today, there are so many of us who are both hurting and in need. But there’s a healing power in giving even a little light to someone else in need . . . a power to heal and uplift ourselves as much as it helps those in need.
No matter our age, Be like Hudson. Just give. It costs so little. But it can mean so much to the receiver as the giver.
There is MAGIC POWER in new friendships. Be a good friend to someone in need near you. YOU may need it more than you know.
Peace be upon you.
Bob the Dog Whisperer.