Thursday, November 25, 2010

November reflections and realizations

The month of November this year has been pretty chaotic to say the least. I feel like we have been through a lot, some of it not quite over just yet. We unexpectedly lost a very loved member of our family (Jamey's grandmother) and my dad had triple bypass surgery. The events of the past month caused me to think about so many things in my own life. My blog is usually a happy place filled with photos of my family and friends, crafts, recipes and other nonsense. Today though I am choosing to use it as a area to air my thoughts and feelings over the last month, and some things that I have spent a great deal of time in deep reflection upon here recently.

I think that I always imagine that those that I love will always be there. Should I know better? Of course...I'm a nurse. The loss of Grandma really has affected me, and this major surgery which my father is still recovering from has added more to that. I've realized that my dad's not going to be around forever, common sense says that I know he won't be, but a girl can hope can't she? I had a very scary moment with him post op day 2, when he transferred back to the ICU. I stayed with him at the hospital and he became very confused and very agitated, I called the nurse told her what labs I thought we should run and what I thought she should do (ever the bossy nurse right???). The doctor happened to be making rounds and he transferred dad immediately to the ICU, he thought at the time that dad had had a stroke. Thankfully no, but scary enough to really frighten his tough (or so I thought) skinned daughter. So many times have I cared for very sick individuals during the time that I spent as a ICU nurse, how different it is when your loved one is the sick one. How different is it to hold your dad's hand and try to calm him when he doesn't know your his daughter....never have I been so frightened. I spent the remainder of dad's hospitalization with him. Helping him, walking him, bathing him, encouraging him, at the bedside pestering the nurses (I imagine in report the nurses handed off "daughter is a nurse and she ask a TON of questions and hoovers like an eagle" as well as dad's past medical history...), and all the while thankful that I have him. Dad went home yesterday. He's so very glad....he's got a long road back to being fully recovered but he'll get there I believe. I have to return home Monday and I'll worry and call and pester everyone to death from Texas instead of the bedside. But until then daily I'll be at his house, bossing him around. That is what I do best....

One of my reflections is in regards to service to others. Jamey's grandmother lived her life as a service to others. She often said "We are here to take care of one another, that is our mission." She was the first to take food to sick friends and relatives, she called, cared for and loved her fellow man. At 78 she actually served her first and only medical mission trip (she was a RN herself) to Nicaragua, weeks after having a heart attack. Her life was to care for others. I started really thinking about my own life. How much time do I spend in service to others verses to myself? I like to think that I'm a caring, giving soul, but I'll admit that I spend more time in service to myself than to anyone else. That is something that I wish to change about myself. I felt the genuine love and caring that I received from friends and family during my father's hospitalization. I had some very good friends come and sit with me on more than one occasion at the hospital (Clarissa and Kara, you both are incredible and if I don't tell you often enough I love you both dearly). Family members (4 of my 5 aunts) rush to the hospital when they heard dad transferred back to the ICU so that my siblings and I would be supported. Friends that I haven't seen in a very long took time out of their busy schedules to pop in and check in us at the hospital, calls, emails, cards....lots of love in all of those actions. All of this is a service. Service of self, service to others, and not a service to themselves. So I guess as I ramble on and on and on at 3 am when my restless, sleep deprived mind won't let me sleep, is that I've realized what Grandma meant when she said "We are here to take care of one another, that is our mission" and with this realization comes the desire and the drive to make that statement made by her so many times with such conviction the backbone of my own life. I'm going to spend less time serving myself and more time serving others. I'm also going to ask all my little blog readers to think about this concept yourselves.

My last big reflections/realization is that I am truly blessed. Blessed with a wonderful family and fantastic friends. My siblings and I are so lucky to have one another. I felt truly like we have banded together, all four of us, in our desire to care for our father. I'm blessed with a kind, caring, generous husband. He gives so much so that I can help my father and never complains about it. I'm blessed with in-laws who literally rearranged the last two weeks to help me with my daughter. Friends who love me tirelessly, and have listened to my venting and stressing this month. Who have dropped everything to be there for me. I am so blessed, the extent that I probably don't realize fully or appreciate completely. I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thus concludes my blog today. Happy Thanksgiving. I personally have a lot to be thankful for this year.


The Glouners said...

Reading this post brought a flood of memories. You took care of my father in law after his stroke. To me, you've always been an example of service and love. Happy Thanksgiving :)