Unsung Heroes

I want to tell you about some REAL heroes.  They don’t wear capes.  They don’t fly.  Today, some of them don’t even know what a phone booth is!  The heroes I’m talking about are NURSES!

Nurses wear their hearts on their sleeve.  They hold you when you’re crying.  When you’re scared.  They listen.  They are the ones that tell you everything will be alright.  Nurses don’t judge.  They are always polite and honest!

I want to give a few nurses mention.  Mrs. Brooks, She was in the Air Force, Stationed at Wilford Hall on Lackland AFB.  When we met I was so young, she has memories of us that I don’t have!  She was everybody’s go-to.  When doctors wouldn’t listen, she MADE them listen.  Helped with medical supplies.  Explained things in language I understand.

Rick and staff at Connally Memorial Wound Care.  The very model of teamwork.  You all have put up with so much from me.  Sweetly said you were fine with the unfortunate stunts my body would pull.  You were all supportive of my MANY moods.  You treated me with love, kindness and respect.  Rick I love how you are with the student nurses.  They will be better for having you for a mentor and an example.

I have mentioned Noelle several times.  Under her care she makes a patient feel like they’re the most important person on Earth.

The Nurses in my Doctor’s office at Otto Kaiser.  GREAT listeners.   Competent thorough professionals.  They make a patient feel welcome, warm and loved.  They work as a team with the Doctor in the best interest of the patient.

Rachel, Otto Kaiser Home Health, you deserves a medal!  Again a sweetheart with dealing with my body and moods.  Since you are so good at your job, I can no longer verbally jab at you unless you come just to visit.

Nursing isn’t just handing the Doctor a scalpel or bandaging a wound, it is the  Most human job a person can have.  Cheers to the heroes we call NURSES!







Graduation Day! (And what I’ve learned.)

That’s right!  I’ve graduated from counseling! Although I’m not yet comfortable stopping my medication, I’m in the best place I’ve been in a LONG time!

A month ago I told my counselor, “I love you!  I have notice how happy and focused I’ve been. The way I’m dealing with people and situations has been better too. Everybody has noticed.”  She said, “Wait a minute, I am just a ‘guide’ you’re doing the work. While I appreciate the compliment, mental health is up to the client. Nobody can do it but you, and you’re doing it!  You’re working very hard”

I’ve learned to speak up.  I’ve spoken up.  Cathartic!  Thought barriers?  Stop what I’m doing and deal with them.  Expect unpredictability.  A nurse asked me what my head was going through. I said the party in my head would scare Bram Stoker and Stephen King.  She thought it was funny.  (Glad YOU thought it was funny!  I was scared!)  “Hold the door open and announce the party’s over!”  Immerse myself in hobbies.  When I tell myself I’m worthless and need to die of natural causes, stop right there and remind myself of my own positive good.  “Ade, you just made your best friend laugh!  That made you laugh!  Everybody’s now laughing!  Good job!”

It’s a journey. It was and is hard work.  Thank you all for getting and loving me through this.  I won’t stop blogging but it will be about more fun and random stuff.  I love you all!


Who Are You When Nobody’s Looking?

That’s a good question.  Well?  Would you be kind to the Janitor and Housekeeper in public then once doors are closed be rude, insulting and snide?   I volunteered at a Nursing Home for 29 years.  In public I would see residents loved ones smile, show charity, kindness and decency.  The kind of people I would want to be friends with.  At the Nursing Home, a whole different set of who ARE you?!  Rude to Nurses, CNA’s and treated Housekeepers like sub-humans.  I need to say though that this was the MINORITY!  The MAJORITY of loved ones were really kind.  A new Housekeeper was having a bad day.  Everybody was riding her.  I tried to talk to her, she PANICKED!  Another Housekeeper pointed to me and said, “She’ll be decent to you.”

Be careful.  You are being watched.  Your children see what you are doing.  They are following your example.  After all you are Mom and Dad, Teacher, Police Officer or some other position of authority so you must be doing it right.  Your children are now following your example!  Congratulations, you have created a snob and a bully!  I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Be kind.  Be kind to the people you step on on your way up.  They’re stepping on you on your way back down.  Laugh behind the nerd’s back then nice to their face?  One day you may be calling them boss.

Who are you when nobody’s looking?

Don’t Leave It Unsaid

My dear friend Neil had a serious heart problem.  When he got scared he wrote sweet notes to people he cared about.  He talked about being grateful for friendship, how much he cared and loved and how special his friends were to him.  He left nothing unsaid.

That is a HUGE lesson.  Leave nothing unsaid.  We don’t get a second chance at life.  So, try to get it right now.  Why do we wait until funerals to eulogize someone?  Tell them NOW, while they can still hear how loved and special and valuable they are to you.

Speaking of eulogies and obituaries, there are people that choose to write their own.  Their own story.  Ok, that’s fine.  Not me, no one can read my handwriting.  So, I will LIVE my eulogy and let someone work out the details later.

Dear family and friends:  You are all very special to me.  You are all you’re own kind of you.  You are all special and beautiful.  Special places in my heart.  I love your warmth, kindness, generosity and humor.  I’ll take your anchovies because they come with you.  I love you all!


Traditions And Memories

With the Holiday season approaching, we often think about the hustle, bustle and busyness.  We are in a hurry, to get the best deals on the perfect gifts, to get ingredients for cooking those perfect meals.  Bake those perfect treats and fill the house with  “Holiday smell”.

In our family, the best part of the meals is everybody participates in preparing them.  We each have an assigned dish.   When it’s time to eat the tv is turned off, the Christmas CD’s are playing.  We come to the table.  Dad carves the turkey and everybody gets their favorite cut.  The side dishes are then passed around.  Then we pray.  Followed by a toast, several will be given through out the meal.  After dinner we blow out the candles, and clear the table.  Debate on whether we are having desert now or save it for another time.  Of course no Thanksgiving is complete without watching the parade and FOOTBALL!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we cut the last of last year’s fruitcakes while making this year’s fruitcakes.

The fun and busyness begins!  We like to decorate.  Big Christmas village.  Mom adds an elephant.  Mom made the 12 plates of Christmas.  We had a giant clock, we’d replace the numbers with the plates.  A few days before Christmas the family would have a party.  Games, food, fun.  My nieces and nephews would open presents from the older adults.  Tamales for the meal.  We would play games. Find the pickle.  We would over eat.  One year, incendiary devices.  Prizes.  No matter the weather that was the warmest day because we were together.  Mass on Christmas Eve.

Oh, the MEMORIES!   My younger sister would get up early and go see what Santa left us then tell us. I asked for nurse kits a lot because they came with candy sprinkles.  I always knew what to ask for the next year based on what my older sister got.  That annoyed her.   My parents regretted giving me drums.  I made all kinds of noise with those.  One year I got a Donny & Marie microphone that worked so well, the neighbors wanted an explanation!

As an adult I find great joy in watching other people express joy!  The kids trying not to fall asleep so they could keep playing with their toys.  Every gift was the “coolest ever!”

So, I want to know what your favorite memories and traditions are.  Let me know in comments.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year!


Band Aids

In a previous post I said that I ripped someone up because I was dropped off the bus schedule again.  I asked someone else to “put a band aid” on what I had done.  Then the next time I got this operator I apologized, which I should have, She said she remembered the conversation, THAT’S ALL!  She needed to learn costumer “lip” service.

Years ago I had my gallbladder removed.  It got complicated.  A temporary medicine ball was sewn into me.  The day the Doctor removed the medicine ball, he noticed it was upside down. (Still worked though.)  He went BALLISTIC!  He told the Nurse she was incompetent and should not be working with patients!  All in front of me A PATIENT!  I knew I couldn’t apologize FOR him, so I put a band aid on it.  I bought her lunch.

Band-aids are temporary fixes.  They stop the bleeding in the moment.  But what about when the band-aids fall off?  The wounds are still there.  They still hurt.  They still burn!  What do you do?  Think about what caused the wound.   Was it words?  Was it actions, in-actions?   You can’t take anything back.

So, go mindfully forward.  By mindfully I mean, don’t forget even if it’s possible.  How you felt.  How you made people feel.  Now when I call bus dispatch to schedule a ride, I am so polite and respectful that I hope they look forward to my calls.  I have become more careful of how I act, what I do and how I say things.

So, are your wounds healed?  Are you healing the wounds you’ve inflicted on others or did you just put a band-aid on it?


What Fills Your Hole?

Are you missing something?  Do you have a hole?  A void?  What caused that void?  Maybe a death?  Someone moved?  You moved?  Job change?  It makes you want to scream!  Nobody around for miles to hear that scream!  What do you do?

The answer is different for everybody.  A move?  Maybe your void is your old friends aren’t there.  Make new ones!  How?  Volunteer at your children’s new school, a nursing facility. an animal shelter, find a church family,  Take a pie to your new neighbors.  Connect!   I’ve done some of these things to fill my hole.

Job change?   You miss your customers, your clients, your colleagues, your boss!  Ok  maybe not your boss!  They will always be part of your life and memories.  That won’t change.   Your new job is a whole nother world!  New ideas, new techniques.   Be and show the BEST YOU YOU HAVE!   It’s ok to show some your perspective and some of the ways you’ve learned.  HEY,  that’s why you were hired!   Experiences and people will fill your hole.

Death, hmmm, ok, let’s figure this one out together.  Nothing and no one can REPLACE the loss.   Every person or pet is  unique in their own way.  I had that one friend that showed me perspectives on friendship and life in general.  (Blog post:  The Best Teachers Don’t Always Teach In Classrooms.)   There will never be anyone else like her.  The Blessings I live with, (AKA, my parents), Yes, I still have them, but when I lose them that won’t just be a hole but a PIT!

Pets, you think, get a new one, simple!  Um, NO!  A new pet will help to a degree but if you’re looking that specific pitch in their whistle, a tone in their bark, the way they put their head on you and look at you with THOSE EYES!  FORGET IT!  You will find a different pitch and look.  I’m not saying don’t get a pet if you really want one, I’m saying don’t expect exacts, that won’t happen.

So, what fills your hole?  Think about it.