Greetings to all!
I am always surprised that is has been so long since my last post - time flies. I was reminded today that it is time for an update. :)
The residency program came to a close last Friday. It was bittersweet moment as I have loved so much of what I have done and yet, the journey has been intense. I love the clinical work and I feel very blessed to work with some of the very best medical staff. Obviously, there is great importance for the medical staff yet they are gracious and know the importance of spiritual health. I always felt included in the care of all of our patients.
It was most interesting that I feel like I had bookends of deaths that started the year and one that ended the year. When I first arrived, I had a patient that was 25 years old and he touched my heart from the very start. When I would ask him how he was, he always said - even in the final days, fantastic! And the very cool thing was, he meant it. That was my first death. One of my last deaths will mark the end for me. A patient was 94, his spouse was also a patient and 96 years old. They had been married 72 years. As he died, her heart broke. The only thing that I had to say was that there hearts had been connected for 72 years and they would continue to be connected as they parted. Whew - Those two deaths will stay with me forever.
As time goes on, I will continue to do chaplain work in Florida. I will travel around the county and visit in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals so the work will be a little different but I am sure just as rewarding. The downside of it is that I will work on the weekends. Working every weekend wasn't my plan, but for now, that is what is available. I will work during the week as needed.
The days are hot here with rain that comes randomly. I am planning a trip back to IN in October for my niece's wedding so I am hopeful that the leaves will be colorful as that is my favorite time of year. A new life in Florida has been exciting, challenging, lonely at times, fulfilling, life-giving, draining, difficult, fun, an answer to a calling, a question to my comfort, and just plain hard sometimes. For now, I plan to stay...winter is coming so it is really nice here in the winter - who's coming to visit?
A blessing for you - May you have food in the bowl, to feed what is basic, and nourishment in the heart, to feed hungers more wild. (Jan Richardson)