Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14

I am reminded over and over why I love working in hospice. The absolute best part are the many people I meet from all walks of life. Today, I share a couple of stories of some of the patients and families I meet.

An elderly man came in last week as he was experiencing pain. He was also very confused and frustrated that he did not know where he was or how he got there. We talked for awhile and then he said, "I just don't know how I am going to earn my keep here. I used to be an electrician - do you think there is any electrical work that needs to be done?" I assured him that he could just rest while he was there but he was disappointed that he couldn't help out. He died just a day later.

A "young" woman, in her 60's, has been mostly unresponsive and has been declining. Her family was gathering, flying from all around the US to get there and yesterday, they were all there. "Mom" opened her eyes and talked with them for 20 minutes about how she was ready to let go and she was glad to see them all. She returned to her nonresponsive state of health and later died. But what a gift for the family as they all gathered to honor her.

Life is somewhat simple here in FL. I don't have meetings, or work I take home, or actually very many responsibilities. Work doesn't feel like work, I live in 990 sf apartment, I spend time encouraging the people I work a chaplain, I get to accept people wherever they are, in whatever they believe, and just be with them as they review their life and get ready to say goodbye.

So life is good, but I truly miss friends and family. My 8 yr old nephew, Trent, won a basketball shootout yesterday - I wish I could have seen him in his winning.
I miss face-to-face conversations and some of my favorite watering holes and shopping experiences. But what's there not to like about the beautiful weather and magnificent sunsets in FL in November? love to all.

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