“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I saw this quote posted on a refrigerator in someone’s house. The house was dilapidated and didn’t even have an air conditioner. There was hardly any furniture in the house and bugs had set up camp in the living room.
As I looked at the sweet man in the living room, his face lit up with joy as we talked. He didn’t waste one word on complaining about what he had to live in, he was too busy smiling. I would have been horrified to live in this house but he was thankful.
Sometimes it is not the house that we live in but actually a person that we consider to be trash. A lot of people think that homeless people are trash. I am under the impression that no one has bothered to search for what treasure may lie within them.
Recently I had commented to some coworkers about how fond I was of a particular patient. Their response surprised me. “I am glad you like her because no one else was willing to take care of her.” Apparently other agencies had also said that they wouldn’t serve her.
She has been a long term patient of mine and I drive quite a way to see her. She is a storyteller. Her stories range from accounts of severe abuse at the hands of her family of origin and first two husbands-to stories of love with her current husband and her only son. It is always a fascinating hour that I spend with her. She has a brilliant memory and remembers dialogue from years past with uncanny accuracy.
She has become one of my favorites and I am so privileged to have been the nurse who discovered the treasure within her.