Better Day

It’s amazing what a good night of sleep can do for your disposition. I’m feeling worlds better tonight than I did last night. Big thank yous to Lizzijoy and Lori and Grumpy Bunny and Patrick (who didn’t leave a link so will remain linkless unless he has one and wants to send it!) for their words of support – – and to Cam for the e-hug. It’s comments like those that bring me back into the reality of what I do and why I do it.

We talked about my experience with the 5 year old girl at work today. Every once in a while there is a case where we all need to sit behind closed doors and let our hair down about. I shared the story of what happened and how it made me feel and every single one of the nurses and social workers in that room agreed that they were glad is was me and not them. Great supportive group, hey? lol Actually, they are. I shared my feelings about how I always feel so self-centered and selfish when I’m down about work – – realizing that it’s not me who has to deal with the fall out after the death of their loved one. The family and friends are the ones most affected by it – and what do I do? I go home and whine about how it made ME feel.

I know – I’m human and am not required to be without feeling when it comes to this job. It just puts things in perspective for me to talk it out sometimes. For the most part, I handle these situations well and am able to compartmentalize my feelings about it — because I really do truly feel that I’m doing good work here. I believe that Hospice is just as vital as any other health care service – – I believe that helping people die is just as important as helping them live. It’s not just important for the patient – but vitally important to their families.

This afternoon I was in the thick of it. It was a busy day in the office, and I was still feeling hungover from the emotional turmoil that was my night on call last night. I wasn’t the sweetest cherry in the pie – let’s just put it that way. Today, I just decided to come into work – put my head down and do what needed to get done in order to get through the day. We had a record breaking 20 new referrals to Hospice today. Lots of cancer…lots of terminal heart disease….so many endless stories of grief – – once the referral comes in, the families and patients are just taking baby steps toward realizing the reality of their illness.

Oh, I wanted nothing more than to get to the end of the day where I could recoil and hide myself within the comfort of the walls of my own home. This is a week that can’t end soon enough.

Then George walked in the office.

He was a site for sore eyes. He looked bright and newly tanned. Relaxed – – so much moreso than the last time I’d seen him.

He smiled warmly and said, “Lisa – I just got back from Mexico. It’s where Ann and I honeymooned. After her funeral – I took off to Mexico – my family thought I was nuts, but I had to. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life – aside from my years with Ann. I just wanted to drop in and tell you that I’m ok, because I know you worry.”

I do worry.

With that, he handed me a package. George and I once took a walk in the woods on his property — in the days right before Ann died. We talked about the changing seasons and I told him about how I hated the cold, even though I’d lived in Wisconsin almost my whole life. The package he gave me today was this big wooly Mexican hand-made blanket. He said, “To keep you warm on those cold Wisconsin nights – – I always want you to be warm, Lisa.”

For so many reasons beyond George’s comprehension – I just cried. His smile was so kind and gentle, I thought my heart would burst.

I’m doing so much better today and am not feeling like my job sucks anymore.

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4 thoughts on “Better Day”

  1. See, I just couldn’t do it. I’d bawling my head off with them – wiping away the tears, just as I am now – at work! Gads! People will know that I’m just a softy – can’t let the truth get out!

    Good for George!

  2. I remember reading Lisa’s previous post about George and Ann – – that made me cry just as this one has now. I agree so much with Tanya that it does take such a selfless person to help so many the way you do – – and may we all be fortunate enough to have someone like you in our lives.

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