How Others Showed Me Love on My Darkest Days

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by Lara Govendo |

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I’ve witnessed the greatest acts of love at my sickest. Whenever I reflect on how love has shone through on my darkest days, my misty eyes reveal how much someone has touched my life forever.

Sept. 30 is National Love People Day. It’s a timely reminder to love others; in doing so, we can make a significant impact on their lives. Love has made a massive difference in my life. It’s my mission to do the same for others.

My church family has been an instrumental illustration of love. When I was admitted to the ICU for the first time, prior to my double-lung transplant four years ago, I posted on Facebook asking for prayers. My pastor’s wife saw my post and sent her husband to the hospital. He prayed with my mom, sister, friends, and me, which brought us comfort and peace.

My other pastor, who is an oncology nurse at the hospital, would pop in every time I was inpatient and pray with me. He texted me to check in and ask what he could bring me. Several church members called to pray with me or dropped off meals during this time. These simple acts of love showed me what community means.

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My parents have been a prime example of sacrificial love. They’ve always done whatever it takes to be there for me. Their effortless devotion and generosity have inspired me beyond measure.

My mom has always been my caregiver. Every time I was sick or hospitalized, she dropped everything to be at my side. She’s made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. She did everything for me when basic, daily living skills were too difficult to perform independently. My mom instilled hope in me during dire situations. She’s covered me in prayer every day of my life. She kept going even when she was exhausted or depleted, which speaks to her strength.

My dad has been my provider and handyman. When I became too sick to work, he told me not to worry about my finances, and that he would provide for me. He’s helped me with my bills for the last five years and has never made me feel guilty about it. My dad took over home projects and heavy lifting when I couldn’t breathe well. I still don’t have to worry about home repairs because my dad loves having a to-do list when he visits.

My sister has been a huge source of love thanks to her generous heart. Since she knows it’s hard for me to accept gifts, for Christmas she would have me pick out clothes and give me gift cards for my prescription co-pays, which were tangible ways she could help me. She also brought my nephews to the hospital to visit me. She taught them how to be gentle around my port-a-cath, IV poles, and oxygen. The boys still check in to see how I’m feeling, which speaks volumes about how my sister and brother-in-law raise them.

My friends are incredible individuals. Their love poured out when they showed up for me at the hospital or when I was too sick to leave my house. They’ve made me feel special, like I belong, and demonstrated that doing things differently because of my health isn’t a burden. My praying friends have comforted me during desperate moments. And several people in the CF and transplant community have made me feel less alone in my journey. These individuals have shown me what real love looks like in a friendship.

Love involves so much more than verbal expressions of it. It exists in the ways we show up for others, our actions, and simple acts of kindness. We never know how heavy another’s burdens are. Let’s remember to show love to our neighbors with every chance we get.

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Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.

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