The Gift of Evelyn

BrentsMomRecently, while visiting my mother in a nursing home, I witnessed the most amazing human experience. It was something extraordinary like out of the movie, The Green Mile. It reminded me how John Coffey used supernatural healing powers. (If you haven’t seen this movie, I would encourage you to grab it soon.)

Sadly, my mother has deteriorated in her physical health with a form of dementia and severe panic attacks. We can be talking about happy things and then, out of nowhere, her eyes open wide with fear, she starts shaking, and experiences horrific panic. Even with 20 years of experience counseling people with all kinds of mental health issues, treating your own mother in this state of mind is new territory for me.

So, during this last visit, when my mother experienced another panic attack, a woman named Evelyn walked over to her wheelchair. (Evelyn is a large, strong, gentle soul.) She placed her right arm around my mother’s back securely, then her left hand gently over my mom’s heart, and gazed into my mother’s eyes. With supernatural laser-like focus, she spoke with strength and peace to my mother’s heart and soul. “It’s okay, Patty. It’s okay,” she kept repeating. And each time she spoke it, calm began to appear. This continued for five minutes and my mother was gradually soothed and came back to her normal state of mind. During our hour visit this happened four times.

My wife and my eyes welled up with tears seeing the panic in my mom as well as with wonder and amazement at Evelyn’s gift.

I thanked Evelyn for helping my mom with her panic attacks.

Most of us don’t have the same gifts as Evelyn but we can learn from her how to handle a temper tantrum in a four year old, an irate customer or co-worker, or possibly an aging loved one. Evelyn also reminds us that life is a gift, as is love. What gift will you give someone today?

Brent O’Bannon creates momentum for outrageous success. He is known as America’s Momentum Coach for individuals, couples in business, and companies. For more information go to and

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