picture

picture

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good byes...

This morning after I went to church, I said to my husband, "I am going to take a nap this afternoon or I am going to drink myself into oblivion" to which my husband and replied "Well there's always that."  

At 10:35 last night, the phone rang.  Jim answered it and handed it to me..."it's his time" I heard.  "I'll be right there, sweetheart" I responded to the 20 something that had just lost his dad.  I drove in silence.  I don't usually turn on the radio when I am going to help a family.  I listen to the voices in my head and try to understand what I am supposed to do.

I pulled up to find the family in the bedroom...prepared for a sleep over with their dad.  They had assembled the sleeping bags, pillows and found their place in the bedroom.  Dad and Mom were in the bed.  Earlier in the day, I had gone over to the house to check on family and we had decided that we were in our last hours.   I had done the usual talk..."make sure you need to say everything that you want to, etc..etc...."   The family was amazing...together and feeling strong.  We said our goodbyes and I left my number.  It was the time for them to love that dad and to be the family they had become.  I went to a party for the baseball team and picked up my son's girlfriend for the marching band night.  The band was amazing and the kids were so excited to show us the work they had done.   I think it is going to be a great year.  But that amazing family was on my mind.  Finally around 8 pm, I called..."How are things going?" I asked..."'Fine, we have some friends over and he is the same."  "I'll see you later, call me any time...even in the middle of the night" I responded.  I put a pair of jeans a a t-shirt on the dresser in case I needed to run in a hurry, brushed my teeth and went to bed.  Then the call came.

Even the most prepared are shell shocked.  Sometimes, I am caught by surprise with the feelings...   So, last night,  after I walked into the bedroom, I began to wish for a different ending.  But, in my line of work, there isn't a different ending.  And, in my line of work, I can take comfort in telling the family what to expect and what to do for each symptom, but in the long run...it doesn't change the outcome.  The outcome is always the same and it is painful.

I drove home at 3 am last night...no radio on...just the thoughts in my head.  Every so often, I would hear a wimper and realize it was me...remembering the pain and sadness of the night.  When I climbed into bed, Jim rolled over and asked me if I was okay, "'yeah" I said, grabbed his hand, rolled over and went to sleep.

While I love my job...the privelage of caring for people in the midst of unrelenting pain...it is sometimes overwhelming.

After church today, I napped.   I looked at my boys and counted my blessings...I walked up behind my husband and gave him a hug and a kiss. 

I hope I learned...time is precious and life is unpredictable...so remember and act accordingly.   I have a hard time with that until I am slapped in the face and last night...it was a huge hand.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I am glad that you are able to feel both sorrow and utter calm as you do your job and bear witness to so much suffering. I so appreciate that you share these feelings with us here -- thank you. Many blessings to you --