Making applesauce sort of represents living life to the fullest. I think prayer is sometimes about asking God to let us do what we can and enjoy ourselves. Picking apples and making applesauce has made me do that. —Marv Roelofs I called Marv soon after he received the diagnosis of Stage IV Small Cell … Continue reading Marv Roelofs and Apple Sauce
I have been thinking for a long time about the fact that we older nurses are dying off. We will take with us our memories of nursing history. I have always loved to hear from other seasoned nurses about how they size up their nursing careers as they look back. What was important at the … Continue reading Leaving Our Legacy
Originally appeared on September 16, 2012.
I attended the book signing this past August. Farther Along, written by my friend and mentor, Carol Henderson, which told the stories of thirteen mothers (she is one of them), a bakers dozen as Carol points out, who had lost children at various ages.
I was prepared to cry. I don’t do well with death of children, even adult children. Children shouldn’t die before their parents. Maybe that’s why I choose geriatrics as my specialty. Old folks die. It’s expected. No surprises. I can deal with that.
I teared up but didn’t cry and was somewhat unprepared for the humor, serenity, and lack of self-pity as the six mothers read sections from the book. But then ten years had passed since the women came together under Carol’s guidance and direction. Certainly bereavement takes time to absorb, rant and rage against, come to terms and eventually accept the grievous loss…
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Larissa MacFarquhar is a staff writer for the New Yorker. She has written profiles on “do-gooders,” people whose altruistic acts “spring from genuine empathy.” Her subjects are varied: Quentin Tarantino, Diane von Furstenberg and Paul Krugman. Most recently she spotlighted Heather Meyerend, not a famous person, but a nurse. Her story starts on page 62 … Continue reading A Hospice Nurse is Featured in The New Yorker
Taking a Blog break. This post appeared on March 10, 2013.
A friend deliberated whether she should visit her father for his 95th birthday. She was swamped with commitments. Since he was unaware of his birthday as well of his surroundings and didn’t even recognize his three daughters, there was no urgency to travel to another state.
However, she cleared her schedule and made the trip, as did another sister and a niece. Both lived out-of-state also.
As it turned out, on his birthday, he had a choking episode with difficulty breathing. He stopped eating and died three days later, surrounded by those he loved who otherwise would not have been there had they not come to commemorate the day he was born.
This story reminded me of a patient I cared for back in the early ‘90’s when I worked as a nurse practitioner in a home care program. I had made a first visit to an elderly man…
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There is one story I wrote that still chokes me up every time I read it. How could it be that something that happened over 40 years ago could still feel so raw? I walk down the hall of that ten-room pediatric unit in my mind—passing the linen closet on the left, the utility rooms … Continue reading Baby Found A Home
A few years ago, I started to snail-mail a list of questions to my Aunt Anna and she would write down the responses on the pages and mail them back to me. She was my father’s youngest sister and last survivor from a family of ten—five boys and five girls. I entered some of her … Continue reading FAMILIES STORIES
A friend deliberated whether she should visit her father for his 95th birthday. She was swamped with commitments. Since he was unaware of his birthday as well of his surroundings and didn’t even recognize his three daughters, there was no urgency to travel to another state. However, she cleared her schedule and made the trip, … Continue reading THE TIME IS RIGHT
A couple of weeks after our hallway discussion, I spotted them exiting the elevator. Margaret pushed Josie in the wheelchair with one hand while lugging an IV pole with the other, rushing to the back door of the building and out to the parking lot in a obvious effort to avoid me. The bottle that … Continue reading VANISHED Part 3 of 3
When the clinic first opened last year, Margaret would saunter in holding Josie’s hand, pulling her along. While Margaret’s stringy hair and disheveled clothes reflected an indifference to her own appearance, Josie always looked neat. Like a treasured, well cared for doll. Her deeply wrinkled face blank but her blue eyes held a sparkle. She … Continue reading VANISHED Part 2 of 3