Saturday, May 5, 2012

On growing up


My supervisor at work called me a few months ago and asked if I'd be interested in changing my job description and going from being a charge nurse to an assessment nurse.  I eagerly agreed as I had decided that me and supervising weren't a good fit.  My new role at work is awesome and I've enjoyed the patient interaction and being able to take my time and be meticulous at what I do which in the nursing world is a rarity.

This past Friday I was doing a quarterly assessment for the sweetest older lady.  Completely toothless, but with a constant smile on her face, she just melts my heart.  When I finished her assessment I asked if there was anything I could do for her.  She looked up at me and said, "Honey, I'd just really love a back rub."  So I reached behind her as she sat in her wheel chair and rubbed her back for a few minutes as she closed her eyes and sighed in delight.  When I was finished, I gave her a hug and turned to walk out of her room.  As I passed her roommate who was laying in her bed, she reached out her hand and weakly asked if I would consider giving her one too.  She also closed her eyes and sighed as I rubbed.  Those are the few but cherished moments that as healthcare providers we get to enjoy.

This week has been pretty busy for me.  Between throwing a baby shower on Thursday and a bridal shower today, it's been hectic and I haven't had much time to slow down.  This morning as I was rushing around trying to get things ready, I noticed Camden sitting quietly on the floor in my room going through a file folder of papers and letters of his that I've kept over the years.  He asked if I'd stop for a minute and look through some of the papers with him.  He held out one for me to read, saying he couldn't read it because it was in cursive.  

Immediately I recognized the handwriting as my mom's on one side of the paper and my dad's on the back side.  They had written the letter almost three years ago when they lived in Indonesia.  As I read the words of encouragement and love they had written to their grandson, I got a lump in my throat.  Unbidden, I had the image of the sweet, lonely woman in the nursing home flash through my mind.  What would she give to have a letter like this from her parents to read?  What would she do to be able to have just one mealtime filled with children's squealing and laughter instead of the sound of oxygen tanks and commands from the CNA's?  

Orchards 072-4How I miss my parents at times, even though they're still alive and well and just a phone call away.  As I read the letter, I could almost hear my dad's voice as he encouraged Camden to keep riding his bike so he'd be a strong rider when he serves a mission.  I could feel the warmth in my mother's words as she told him how much she looked forward to having him come visit her on their little farm when they returned.  

Getting older has it's perks...wonderful ones.  People finally take you seriously for a change and stop calling you "kid." I'm more confident in who I am and find myself hesitating less to speak my mind.  I love the independence of deciding who I'm going to be and what I will believe.

But what I would give to turn back the clock, just for a few hours from time to time, to find myself sitting in my living room with one of my siblings playing the piano, my little sister bouncing around cheerfully, mother cooking in the kitchen, and my dad bargaining with one of us on the terms and conditions of the upcoming party this weekend.

It's no wonder that so many times I've seen people go to the grave talking of mother and father and reminiscing on the cherished, magical days of childhood.  

7 comments:

Leslie said...

Thanks for writing Rita! I enjoy reading what you write! Time with loved ones is a gift!

Cristina said...

Such a beautiful post Rita! Just made me cry... :) I miss those days too, especially when the troubles and pressures of the "grown-up" world seem to take over. Love you!

Becky said...

Would you still go back and have Jesse pester you too?? Good times...

Merrick Family said...

Ha, ha! Knowing what I know now from watching Luke pester Lauren, I would be able to see through all his tricks! They're sneaky little buggers.

Merrick Family said...

I think almost every memory I have of you as a kid is of you bouncing around with a smile on your face. You're fun to have around. I guess it's a good thing mom and dad didn't end with me. :)

Merrick Family said...

Thanks, Leslie. I love reading what you write about your kids too so keep it up!

Becky said...

Beautiful post!