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Recently, I had been going through a particularly hard time in my life. I had some surgery and other health problems. It just seemed like the health problems were multiplying, and being cooped up in the house while recuperating didnít help at all. I am one of those impatient patients who want to get on with their life now. The impatience and being cooped up had led to a feeling that nobody cared. Oh, how mistaken I was.

My friends and family were loving and supportive during my time of recuperation. They lead very busy lives, though, and I didnít want to bother them. But cards and flowers kept coming in, and they dropped in to see me when they could. They all found a way to show their love and concern during that time. But with the health problems occurring one right after another, I was really getting down and couldnít see the abundance of love that was there for me.

While recuperating, I had to keep my leg elevated a lot, so I found myself reading quite often. One day, I was sitting out on my porch reading and right in the middle of a good chapter, I noticed that hundreds of birds started to chirp and sing together. I looked out over the riverbank behind the house, and it was such a beautiful sight. Literally hundreds of precious little birds were gathered in two or three trees out back. I realized they were communicating with each other. Suddenly, they lifted from the trees and swooped into the air. They formed a huge circle over the hilltops. They were gathering together to fly south for the winter. As they circled and chirped, other little birds would swoop up and join in the circling. I realized then that they were circling and waiting for their friends. Oh, what a beautiful thing to see. Even the precious little birds wouldnít fly south and leave their friends behind. After a bit, I didnít see any more birds joining the group, and the circling stopped. They formed what looked like a beautiful formation and flew away. Sitting there watching with a smile, I could feel their caring for each other.

The next afternoon, I was again outside reading when suddenly I caught myself staring into space and thinking. I was wishing my sister who lives in another state would call me. I dearly needed to hear her voice. Suddenly, my phone rang. When I picked up the receiver, I was so moved when I heard her say, ďI thought Iíd call to see how youíre doing.Ē Did she hear my thoughts? Did I somehow sense her love for me right then? Not only did she call, but she also drove over and spent a three-day weekend with me. She nursed me, spoiled me, and mothered me. And my other sister called regularly to check on me, and she also came by when she could. How could I have been thinking no one cared?

My birthday came while I was recuperating. The day before my birthday, I was again staring into space and thinking how I missed the ladies I had worked with for over five years. I was wondering why I hadnít heard from them for awhile, even though I knew how busy the office was. Thinking some rest might help my mood, I lay down to take a nap that afternoon. I had just lain down and was still thinking about them. All at once, my phone rang. Oh, how happy I was when I picked up my receiver and heard all four of them in turn, say, ďThis is Paula, this is Sandy, this is Nancy, this is Deanna.Ē They were on a speaker-phone in the office! I could hardly talk for crying. They had called to say they were coming to pick me up the next day for my birthday celebration at work! They hadnít forgotten me. Did they hear my thoughts of love for them? I know I listened and felt their love for me all afternoon before they called me.

Just before I had surgery and became ill, my special Angel at the Gate (one of my dearest friends) went through a much harder time than I did. Throughout my recuperation, she was on my mind and in my heart every day. I hope she heard my loving thoughts and felt the love and caring that I sent to her during her trying time. I thank her so much for the loving words and thoughts that I received from her, too.

Oh, my special friend, Jesse. Words canít describe the miracle that he performed in my life. Just when I was ready to give up, he talked to me for hours and hours. He lifted me with kind, understanding, loving, up-lifting words of wisdom and encouragement. Hours of talking didnít seem to be a bother to him. He sensed when I was down and what I needed to hear, and he talked to me until I felt better. He even had me smiling and laughing. He kept referring to my good, positive attributes. He helped me to see that if I wanted to heal completely and to be whole again, I had to learn to like me again. He also showed me the value of a true, faithful, loving person that will stand by until the end and still be there. He is such a dear, precious person. He said helping me also made him feel better about himself. He said helping other people is what itís all about.

One day, I was in the woods picking up nuts and watching the squirrels as they played in the trees. I watched and listened to the beautiful birds singing happily. Oh, it was a beautiful autumn day. I stood there for awhile and looked around me, just soaking in the natural beauty. The trees were ablaze with color, and I could smell autumn in the air. The cool, autumn air was softly touching my cheeks as I relaxed. I took a deep sigh and closed my eyes for a minute, just feeling my beautiful surroundings and listening to the soft wind whisper through the trees. For a moment, I felt at one with nature. While my eyes were closed, I felt someone say, ďI wonder what sheís doing today.Ē I knew it was Jesse sending his care. I softly answered, ďIím picking up nuts and enjoying the autumn woods.Ē Then, I smiled. That evening, he told me he had been thinking about me that day. He had been wondering what I was doing and how I was feeling. When I had closed my eyes and gotten still, I felt his caring.

I am so thankful to have such caring, loving, friends and family. While going through this trying time in my life, I found the true meaning of caring. Just when I thought that no one cared, I learned that they do; we just have to be still and feel the love. I just hope that someday Iíll be as strong and loving for someone else who might be going through such a trying time in their life. I hope I will have the opportunity to do for someone else what they have done for me.

~Author: Charlotte Dixon~
Hazard, Kentucky

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