spirits

I’m a nurse and I’ve been around a lot of illness, disease, death. But the day I learned my step mom had stage 4 pancreatic cancer I was taking a shower and it was raining outside. I was living in Asheville NC nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sound of the water hitting the shower curtain sounded different. It was crisper, louder, almost palpable.

 

It’s raining in the spring season of Colorado snow and flowers. The smell of the rain reminded me of that day when I connected to the spirit of Ann and I knew she would stay with me and she wasn’t leaving as the pain of her situation screamed.

I knew I’d feel your presence and I always will.

 

Windows

I love them. I’ve had my favorites and I have a new one. These are so cool. They can open from the top by tilting in or wide open from the side or the handle locks firmly down in place. I’m in the basement studio with a sidewalk slant so one window eye level is on the ground, the next 2 feet higher, and my last window I can sit on the sill and watch the night sky full of stars or the snow as it falls or the brilliantly blue Colorado sky.

One 12 foot tall window in town often has a grey haired old man named Rocky sitting at his huge wooden round table cluttered with stacks of import looking art stuff. Reminds me of San Francisco and my step dad Bud only he would be using his sizzer’s as he loves clipping important stuff from papers.

Looking out or looking in ….it’s soothing to me.

Hospice…..think about it when you are healthy

I am a nurse and have NOT experienced a chronic or terminal diagnosis, but I was a hospice liaison and saw firsthand how much love hospice offers. I have worked in intensive care as well as many other branches of the medical fight for health. Hospice comes when one sees there is no longer a need to fight and a much bigger opportunity to only LOVE while they are present on earth. Period. Hospice isn’t waiting with shovels to hurry up your time it’s actually the complete opposite as end of life masters they bring the comfort you didn’t know was there. Nor did you realize your deep need for healing the spiritual and emotional needs beyond the physical body for yourself and all who know you. Once you’re gone those wounds will remain and will be faced regardless of your diagnosis, although the strength you showed will remain regardless of your choice. 

Angels on earth ……Hospice, don’t miss the love.

Dear Verizon

Dear Verizon,

Your employee is misrepresenting your product.

I’m a nurse and I take pride and joy in my job. I care for people and can tell you it matters not their name, class, color of skin, political stance (please keep one that to yourself), opinion of women, past karmic mishaps, or if they even pay their bill. I’ve taken care of your neighbor, your mother, your child, your first grade teacher who held your hand and you never forgot as well as all of your employees. I answer your call bell when you can’t muster the energy to call on even the closest person to your heart. When I say I’ll come back as soon as I can you can believe me and you do because you were in pain and we remember times as these. You remember the time I kept the lights off when the orders said to check your vital signs every hour and that’s the only added comfort and customer service I could offer. Actually I brought in a cool wash cloth because your temperature was out the roof. Oh and I went all over the hospital to find that tiny white styrofoam cup of chocolate ice cream cause you said it was all you could eat. That’s right I also called your daughter on the west coast because nobody would call and update her as to how you were doing.

When I asked your ‘GoVerizon’customer service representative to help me because I knew I was about to lose my job (not my fault but not this topic either) soon and finances needed to be within strong boundaries and emphasized my complete lack of knowledge or desire to understand the cell service choices and could she help me she said she sure could. Not a soul was in the store and I believed my request to be clear. No money soon. Ms Piddle set me up with the one thing that would certainly bring me pain and anguish once the bill tripled and the stress on my organs took hold. I know the importance of keeping these little guys happy and you’ve upset my apple cart in this situation and I’m asking for your reply to one question:

I’m doing my job, are you?

Love,

Nurse Pam

Sleeping Bag

listen to your heart

The homeless travelers in Colorado Springs stand on the highway exit corners collecting an undisclosed plethora of coins, paper money, uneaten fast food lunch I didn’t want after all, 2 large unsweetened tea cause I asked for sweet tea I’m a Southerner now in the West, cans of sardines, to name a few. Last week the wind was blowing crazy like it only does around the plains and yep it was cold and snowy. I’m in my toasty warm lovable Kia Sportage and there he stands shivering with his cardboard reused sign ‘Need Help’ so I gave him my sleeping bag. Chica doesn’t know yet as I’d used it for her to stay warm when she takes her copilot seat. The traffic light remained red for some time as the grey and orange bag whipped around the disheveled fellow as he stood waiting patiently for the next flow of onlookers. I rolled my window down again and gave him one of my many cloth bags cause I’m a silent bag lady too. He scurried back with a grin saying ‘thanks man.’

Yesterday as I was walking around the adorable welcoming snowy town of Manitou Springs I spotted a fellow curled up under the bushes in a sleeping bag with the morning sun resting on his quiet form. He looked rather comfortable but I know better.

Try telling a mother and business woman facing retirement she should get pregnant because after all it brought her such joy and purpose. She would not need to answer and could inwardly chuckle as she continued to plan her future freedom life out from under all the shady business situations she’d faced working in the system as well as all the critiques she’d swallowed during her parenting years as she attempted to do the best for the fruits of her loins.

Ok so I’m not facing retirement but I relate to her. As a rock climber would turn and walk away from some strangers encouragement to jump on a climbing route without ‘good beta’ from a trusted source. I’m at a spot where I neither want to get pregnant nor jump on any rock requiring vertical ascent. Substitute the suggestions of what should a nurse do? ICU, ER, private duty, hospice liaison, cardiac unit step down, travel nurse (hard!), inpatient rehab RN, camp nurse, Health Director, occupational health nurse at a lumber plant, and most recently school nurse. I’ve done it all. Loved it and can list why I will not do each again.

As my own employment grim choices are laid out in front of me I can’t help but think I might need another sleeping bag.

when you’re not looking

This sweet couple was camping where I was last fall and I just came across the photo I took of them. I was taken by the sense of wonder they encompassed.  They had a VW camper van. Her braided grey ponytail was long. They were quietly dining and watching nature.

I passed by them several times. I just remember the silence between the two. I had a sense of peace then as I do again now. It’s powerful to realize how  we can touch each others lives and never even know it.