16 February 2008
my heart has been with corey over the last few weeks as she has kept a vigil of love for her father. my first awareness of the ICU waiting game was on the other side of the fence, as an ICU nurse. the hardest part of that job was helping the loved ones around the bed reconcile what they understood about life & what life was presenting them in the surreal world of monitors & tubes & tests...helping them reconcile the vibrant loved one they knew with the silent, medicated person in the bed who often looked nothing like the photos they would show me from their wallets. severe illnesses & trauma will do that to a body. my experience in the ICU gave my young mind a profound awareness of the capabilities we as humans possess...the ability to endure great things, emotionally & physically, the ability to heal great injuries...beyond what i ever thought possible. one of the greatest joys of my job was seeing a former patient walk through the unit's doors, well & smiling. i rarely recognized them.yesterday i received a call at an hour when you don't want one. a friend of ours was critically ill & in surgery. i hung up the phone & jumped into the shower, my mind racing with thoughts of what her family might need at that moment. the day suddenly became an exercise in reductions...what things could be put aside for another time, what things could be discarded, what things absolutely had to be done. life is so very precious & in moments like these, it is easy to see how that is so & just what is important. before leaving to bring our friends' daughter home from college, i hugged my boys extra tight & called my girls. our family makes a point of always leaving one another with a hug & kiss & an 'i love you'...life is too short to do otherwise.on my drive i pondered how easily i had chucked my day's 'to do' list, how small the circle of 'what matters' really is. i prayed a lot for our friend & for many other things. i considered how incredibly green the new grass was. i counted the early spring flowers i saw...daffodils, tulip magnolias, quince blossoms. i took comfort in the thin sunlight that warmed my shoulder. i expressed much gratitude that our friend had received the care she needed because waiting surely could have been fatal.please keep our friend M. in your prayers. & please hug those around you extra tight today...tell them how much they mean to you.