Benevolence is an act of kindness or an inclination to be kind. It’s the quality of someone who volunteers to help someone else. This act stems from the heart without an agenda. It is truth and love without the expectation of something in return. As my family navigates the aftermath of my son’s motorcycle accident, I have been on the giving and receiving end of benevolence. It is an emotional roller coaster you strap into from the moment you get that call that there has been an accident. You travel from fear that he is dead, to relief that he is alive, to worry about the uncertainty of recovery and all that entails. We have had people show up in such unselfish ways I’ve cried and been so humbled by the love.
Friends stopped by the hospital during one of his surgeries bringing us lunch, coolers of food, water, snacks, reading material, toiletries and so many other things that sustained us through the hospital visit. The biggest gift was their time spent with me during his surgery and just being present for a couple hours. Nothing prepares you for the range of emotions you go through, sometimes cycling through them all in about 5 minutes! I was angry at my son for running a red light. I was grateful he was alive and that he wore his helmet that day. I had fears about how I would care for him as he couldn’t walk for 6 weeks or bear weight on his legs at all and his jaw was wired shut. What would I feed him? How would I feed him? How would I lift him by myself when my husband was at work? So many questions and so few answers. I felt conflicted about his girlfriend’s role in his care as I am his mom and am used to being the one administering meds and comfort, but here she was inserted into the family dynamic at an incredibly stressful time. I felt like I needed to allow her to be involved in his care and step back. She is lovely and kind and respectful, and getting a full night sleep was amazing every time she was here. Then we had the reality of home care which involved wheelchairs and learning to transfer from the bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to bathroom, bathing, feeding liquid meals and residual pain from 3 surgeries in 4 days. Benevolence for me was just allowing everything to unfold and staying grounded and centered and asking myself what is my lesson about myself I need to learn in all of this. The lesson was to be compassionate and to keep showing up through my son’s ups and downs emotionally and physically through the healing.
I had to remind myself that this is temporary. We are right where we need to be in life and I need to respond to this situation with grace for everyone involved. I need to allow all the good and bad emotions to rise and be acknowledged and released because I’m human, not a machine that handles everything with robotic precision. One day I was so tired I was literally crawling up to the third level of my home. I hadn’t slept in days. My husband was working on his computer and he literally put me right to bed and tucked me in. I needed permission to sleep for some odd reason and he gave me that and took a shift with my son. No one can manage 24/7 care alone.
Benevolence on my part has been just lying next to my son holding his hand when he is just trying to breathe through the pain. It’s stepping back and allowing his girlfriend to take over his care if she wants to. Benevolence is the essence of who I am but sometimes I must go deep to find it and bring it forth in a pure authentic way. Wherever you are in your life, be kind to yourself and if you are suffering in some way benevolence towards another will ease your pain. It’s easy when you are suffering to withdraw and be a victim. I encourage you in those times to show up for another human being. It is like a salve in your wounds and it is here that your personal healing and growth begins. I find that when I am suffering, somehow sharing the words I would like spoken to me or showing up in a way for another I wish someone could show up for me restores me and makes me feel a little better.