I challenge you to take a moment right now to list every nurse you have encountered in your life…whether personally or professionally. I’m confident the majority of people do not have a sufficiently detailed memory or a sheet of paper long enough to document the associations!
I hold nurses in my heart with esteem and gratitude …. especially during the pandemic. I see nurses as the angels who are carrying the sick and the families of the sick down this road to recovery.
Being a nurse means you carry immense responsibility and very little authority. You step into peoples lives and make a difference. Some bless you, others curse you. Nurses see people at their worst and their best. Nurses see life begin and lives end. They see humanity’s capacity for love, courage and endurance.
The holidays….they can go either way..
I have heard my friends lament about the sadness they feel especially when viscerally injected with holiday cheer bouncing off every wall, ceiling, music speaker and Christmas tree. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a reason for the season person; your ethnicity doesn’t matter, sleeping on the streets or in a mansion…you are either living through or celebrating the holidays.
I especially mourn with people when a loved one transitions around the holidays. I don’t think I’m hanging crepe when I say that The “holidays” will never be the same for them. This happened to me…my dad had a heart attack on Christmas Eve and passed the day after New Years. Moving forward when the holidays roll around the reference is always that day, month, year before dad passed and after dad passed.
A good friend of mine told me that I should accept the holiday feels by feeling the emotion, letting it pass through and if you feel like a thorough holiday sob, just let it happen. Stop fighting it.
There really are no rules…the holiday is the holiday…one hour, one day you may feel festive and full of love and joy…and the next hour or day, you may not.
I assume everyone who has lost a beloved will find truth to these words to some degree…depending on our spiritual beliefs or organized religious domestication…when someone transitions from life to death, we feel them in our sorrow….we miss them… I know some of us remember and mourn the loss of the relationship and how they made us feel. Others believe that someday in our transition, the beloved will be waiting, in a place called heaven, with arms outstretched. Some of us believe the energy from our beloved is with us every day and that we can call upon that energy for guidance. Sadly, because we can’t agree on the path, often it divides us and we take issue with each other and completely close roads down rather than offer a detour.
These thoughts of mine were triggered this morning because my calendar notified me that next month will be the birthday of a beloved that transitioned in January of this year….and the moment I noticed it on the calendar, I said in my head…your birthday is coming up, Jen, how are you feeling about that? Because our less than a year old relationship was not one of my normal friendships of experiences and enmeshment before she passed, I seem to think it is necessary to dissect my feelings. I think what I have figured out that our connection was concrete in spirit before our personalities had time to gel over coffee once a week or really to even know about each other in the typical friendship “way”. Being newer to this “we are all one” spirituality In relation to my history of dogmatic teachings through the various Christian churches I attended, I think I can answer my own question about Jen and me.
I, seriously, question at times whether she actually existed…our souls seem to have danced together each taking and giving generously to one another without words. Words were not needed…she was my early lesson in what it means to just “BE” and honor and bow to the Devine in her. Namaste!
Until next time….
It’s been 8 years since Brett passed. I’m getting to that place where my memories don’t cause me pain and longing…I can now just remember him with love and thankfulness.
My BFF/sister-in-law, Gena, buried her sweet mom today. Marj spent the last years living with Alzheimer’s disease so her kids had already been mourning the loss of their mother. It was a blessing to view all of the old pictures of the family over the years…..I think having the camera ready and capturing life’s fleeting moments is so important…no matter what you weigh today or how your hair looks!
He and I had a quiet, reflective day…didn’t have the boys because Jax is sick…so we had an opportunity to just be.
Until next time…..
Without any forethought or planning other than marriage, I moved to a smaller town of 15,000, give or take, in the heartland. It was a predominantly white town of blue collar Maytag workers…lots of union workers…my first impression as an outsider…kind of a clique town. I finally landed a well paying job for the county sheriffs office, made a lot of friends, helped organize labor union representation for county workers, volunteered in the community and raised 2 successful daughters. Through most of my life in this small town/county, my only real political problems involved going up against the old white men republicans that sat at the head of the county board of supervisors when we negotiated union contracts and my hatred of these same old white men every winter when my gravel roads became impassable. Rather an idealic life, wouldn’t you say?
Then Maytag up and left the community for Mexico and was later sold to the Whirlpool Company. A state prison was built south of town, crime increased which I will always believe had something to do with the inmate population being in the back yard, we acquired a more significant drug problem, I have no facts or figures on the percentages but I maintain we spent a lot of time, money and energy on a lot of lost souls whom I referred to as dirt bags….unless you have worked as a public service employee……law enforcement, health services….you just don’t know what is out there…..and you really don’t want to know.
Now 40 years later, I have been changed. I look at the plight of these dirt bags differently, I maintain their lifestyle is the result of years of poor, broken families who just gave up on their kids and their kids, etc. I believe they escaped their hardships with drugs and everything else to make themselves feel good in the moment and this cycle of survival began. I understand this lack of compassion and hatefulness pouring out of our conservative D.C. Government….the dregs of society draining our coffers because they are lazy and refuse to work. For the most part I understand it….I don’t agree with it because I have become one of those bleeding heart liberals….. but I understand the mentality.
BUT ISNT HEALTH CARE….LIFE AND DEATH…..A RIGHT WE SHOULD HAVE AS AMERICANS…..AS HUMAN BEINGS ON THIS PLANET….especially in contrast with the billions and billions of dollars available for everything else? Don’t we deserve a right to LIVE above and beyond every other perk in the United States of America?
Until next time….
Death of a parent can really screw with your life. For anyone who has had a wonderful, deep, loving relationship with a parent that has died, I know the pain is so great that you really wonder if you will survive. The immediate overwhelming grief is incompacitating. Sometimes after a parent has passed, intellectually we can feel relief that it is finally over and I’m speaking of long, painful or difficult illness and dying process. Somewhere you grasp the reality that you love them enough that you are thankful they are finally without pain and fear!
But there are others of us out there who do not have the wonderful, deep loving relationship with a parent. These relationships are colored with many different crayons. The reasons are many and very personal and obviously painful. Death in these kind of relationships are difficult because the survivor’s grief is all wrapped up in the fact that this is the end….there is no turning back, or fixing the relationship mixed in with the emotion of not feeling anything at all. Yet a devastating understanding that this is not how you are supposed to feel…knowing full well that your memories of the life you shared negates any real emotion you have about the death.
……my answer after my mothers death was to dig deep and work and work and work to find some peace within myself…understanding that she did the best she could do with what she had to work with. Understanding that mental illness is not just an excuse but an actual disease. Letting go of the painful negative and remembering the positive memories that are now able to be recalled. 8 years ago today, the healing began. I still don’t feel a lot of grief in her death but I am able to feel some affection for the woman who raised me. R.I.P. Mom.
Until next time.