By Max Lynch (GSB’19), FSIC Student Leader.
Today I met and talked with a very interesting lady on the train from London to the conference location in Northampton. I met Linda as I gave up my seat to two friends who couldn’t find two seats together. I moved into an open seat next to Linda and we instantly started conversing.
Linda was an older woman, probably in her 60’s. Over the next hour, I proceeded to get her whole life story. I generated a genuine interest in Linda, prodded her to keep talking about herself, and listened intently so that I could learn as much as I could.
As Linda told me her story, I found out that she lives in a part of England that has many older residents. With this demographic, the area has many people that require full time care. Seeing her community need, Linda decided to spend her life working in hospice care. She gets called to people’s houses, takes care of them, and best of all, doesn’t charge a dime.
Linda is also a Catholic. She told me that hospice care brings her JOY; a feeling but also an acronym that she has taught her family and lived by herself. It stands for Jesus, Others, Yourself. In conversation she recognized that JOY is difficult to live by all of the time, but she does her best, and lives a great life in doing so.
Linda’s husband works extremely hard to support her family and lifestyle. He commutes hours north everyday to the higher opportunity city of London. She called him “the wind beneath her wings.”
Linda told me of a woman she took care of that wrote Linda into her will. Linda saw this as God rewarding her for her work. Linda doesn’t do hospice care with the goal of being written into people’s wills, but she sees it strictly as God rewarding her for her work. I liked her attitude.
I find it lucky that I got the experience of meeting Linda as I go into this conference. Typically when traveling by public transit, especially in New York, I keep to myself. Talking to my seatmate is rather unusual for me. But, by talking and being personable, not only did I acquire this story, but I also gained unordinary first-hand experience with someone going out of her way to be a woman for others. An unsuspecting but inspiring Changemaker. It was a perfect introductory experience to the upcoming Changemaker Student Summit.