So, yesterday we served more people in one day than the average chiropractor does in a month. It was pretty fun, and we feel blessed. At the end, there were some presents to gather and final things to be completed before closing; and I was tired, physically.
But there was one more. Sweet Lorraine had missed her last 2 adjustments and I didn’t want her to go through Christmas subluxated. I was tired, but I had this feeling deep inside that I needed to connect with her. We called her and offered a home visit, which she gratefully accepted.
Lorraine has just started radiation for an inoperable lung cancer. She’s 83, and lives alone. She was feeling too frail to walk to the office for her adjustment, as she has consistently for years. When I went to her home, it was a very modest apartment in a senior’s complex, decorated as my grandma would have her home. Everything on the walls were pictures from a different era. From a time when family always came first, and service to others was commonplace. I liked how her apartment made me feel.
When I arrived, I noticed that her shoulders were covered in hair – you see, she didn’t actually know that her hair was falling out from the cancer treatment. When I hugged her hello I couldn’t help but notice the multitude of silver hairs that fell onto my jacket. She noticed too. In the first 2 minutes of this visit I was her support crew as she discovered that in spite of being told that her hair might stay in, indeed it wasn’t. She was really embarrassed, and I think I helped her feel more comfortable about it. I hope I did.
I checked her spine sitting in a chair in the tiny kitchen. I scanned her atlas and it measured several degrees off – high on the right. I asked her to visualize her happiest Christmas ever as I adjusted her. She enjoyed that and went on to tell me all about the many celebrations that she has had over the years, and wondered aloud if this would be her last. I scanned her atlas again, and it was now clear.
Lorraine doesn’t have much, and she pays what she can. She had prepared for me something in six folded napkins – like someone would wrap homemade cookies or baking treats. She put them in a bag and gifted it to me.
She said “these are all homemade, and I’m not sure that I need them anymore.” I thought it an odd statement. I stayed to chat a bit longer, and several hugs later climbed into my truck to go meet up with my family.
When stopped at a light I reached into the bag to eat whatever tasty treat that she had included; and my eyes watered up. Inside the bag were six homemade Christmas ornaments that were obviously from years gone by, and she had taken from her tree – I could tell from the tinsel that draped a few of the pieces. When she “paid” me for the home visit, she did so with gifts that she wasn’t sure “she’d need them anymore.” The value of these gifts were pieces of her life – that she wanted to carry on.
Yesterday I adjusted many people, many families, many babies, and many seniors – but I learned the most right at the end. When I was tired and weary, I saw Lorraine, MORE tired and MORE weary than anyone, still having the heart of a servant. She’s my hero.
I thank God that I listened to that voice that told me to do the house call. I thank God for people like Lorraine that have always served others, and continue to do so.
Merry Christmas Lorraine. Merry Christmas to you all. Hoping that this year you get lost in service to others…
Check out Lorraine’s homemade handywork: