Saturday, May 28, 2011

Humbled and Thankful...

Last weekend, my sweet youngest boy was confirmed.  Here is our group after church.  My sister-in-laws and my husband,  kids and I.   It was a great day and my sweet boy looked so handsome.

I spent the week finishing the school year and getting ready for summer.  I also worked.  Live and learn...I say.

I am taking care of a woman who has cancer.  We knew each other in a different stage of our lives.  She is starting to have more pain.  Late last week, I called her to check on her.  She told me she was hurting more and "we have to do something."  I did what I do, figured out what would help her and got the medications ordered.  I decided that even though she was probably fine, I wanted to go see her.  I went on Friday.

I walked into her house and she was moving well.  I sat at her table and looked at her...her eyes were a shiny blue and just twinkling.  She had started the new medications the night before.  "So you feel better today, huh?"  She said she did and we talked about the medications that she started, what they were supposed to do and her instructions.  She then said, "I am so sorry for complaining, but I just couldn't take it anymore."  I looked at her and then said the weirdest thing, " You are really good at this hospice thing."  She thanked me and asked me what I meant.  "Well", I said, "you are so strong and positive.  You've made your choices and while I sense you wish things were different, you seem so at peace with those choices."  She smiled at me and we talked about all kinds of other things.  We talked about the events that lead to to this and the choices that she made.  While we talked, I did my "nursey" things and then we were done. 

I got in my car and thought about the visit.  How would I handle living with a diagnosis that could not have any treatment?  Would I be able to be so warm and loving and tolerant of people if I knew I was on my way out?  I don't know for sure but I don't think so.  This woman is a hero, a person who is living well when things are not what she wants. 

Yesterday evening, my husband, son and I went to packing night for our trip to Nicaragua.  We are going in June and I am the head of the medical team. My son and I packed the medications and dreamed of saving the world with ibuprofen, tylenol and antibiotics.  I wish it was that easy. 

This morning, as I was waking up, my husband crawled back into bed and snuggled me.  "What do you want to do today?" he asked.  "I want to be outside, in the dirt, planting and weeding and getting ready for summer."  So that is what we did.  We cleaned off the patio, weeded, and got the grill ready.

Spent the day outside doing things.  It was good.  When it was time for dinner, I threw brats and burgers on the grill and ate at the table.  We talked about what we are thankful for while we sat and ate.  We were all thankful for different things but thankful, nonetheless.

After dinner, the teenagers picked up the guitars and ukelele and began to play in the livingroom.  I came up to blog and heard them singing.  Talk about feeling thankful...

I am constantly humbled by the people I meet and get to care for.  I am learning every day that nothing is guaranteed.  Nothing.  As my husband says, "you could cross the street and get run over by a beer truck."  I in my case, it probably would be a white zinfandel wine truck...but you get the point.  And, having the honor to care for this woman...the one who is "good" at hospice, at dying...that is humbling.  It is also a lesson in courage.  She makes good on every moment that she can...and is thankful.  "What's the point of complaining" she said..."It's a waste of my precious time."

I am sitting in my office, my husband is doing Soduko and the dogs are farting.  The room stinks...and I am still thankful.  I am thankful for the usual...the stinky dogs, the husband that isn't interested in me at all, the guitars in the living room...for not having to deal with the end of life today but of just regular life.  That, my friends, are things to be thankful for....

Oh and Zach, The Queen loves you more and she wins!
We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,

1 comment:

Ms. Moon said...

Yep. You got it all figured out.
I love you.