Opem to constructive criticism, Would like to make it better. Thank you in advance
I remember the first time I met you. There you were sitting in bed and looking at me with those big green eyes and a head of sparse fuzzy hair that managed to escape the chemo. Out of politeness I called you,”Sir.” “Could we drop the Sir sh*t? It is a Saturday night, isn't it?” I was stunned by such a blatant remark and found myself pausing to think what night it was. I wasn't sure if I should tell you it was Friday night because you acted as if you would bite my head off. I couldn't help but laugh at the incoherent babbling that followed and with such a serious face! You were a spicy one from the start and I loved that about you. Quick witted, sarcastic, educated and a little confused. The cancer had affected your brain and on occasion you would say things that didn't make sense. You would recognize this and get frustrated. It didn't matter to me. It was the connection between us I cared most about. We both knew it was all a part of your journey.
I looked forward to seeing you every time I worked. You always gave me such a hard time with your sarcasm. After that first encounter, it was on! I gave it right back to you. Tit for tat. We would laugh and tease each other relentlessly. “Can you stay for just a minute? Just a MINUTE?” you would plead; as if I could turn down a man who offered to share his Kit Kat bars with me? I laugh even now thinking about it. You always sucked at opening up the wrappers. I miss that. I miss the nights of laughter we shared and the times when we were alone in the dead of night and you would honor me by pouring out your soul. I was so blessed to know you.
You were determined to get better. You surprised us all and for a moment I was convinced that you would be one of the lucky ones. I was so happy for you until that defining night when you asked me for something you hadn't asked for in weeks. You asked for oxygen and an inhaler. My gut had a sinking feeling. I knew something wasn't right. I began my interrogation. “Do you feel short of breath? Are you, ok?” “You worry too much.” Your favorite words to me when I would make a fuss over your blankets being straight or your Sprite being cold enough. I laughed it off with you for the sake of not letting on. The other nurses in morning report blew it off. “Well, he smokes doesn't he?” “Yes, but this is DIFFERENT.”
You quickly declined after that night. When I came back, you were not assigned to me. You were very agitated and restless. Nothing you said made sense and you were paranoid of the staff. Your nurse asked me to help her with you while she gave you IV medication. The one thing I have learned is that people know intuitively when they are dying. You knew on some level you were in your final hours of life. Didn't you?
I remember holding your hand and trying to comfort you with whatever words made their way to the surface. We looked at each other and for a moment there was a connection that opened up between us. A recognition, or at least it felt that way. You kept repeating one phrase that will be with me for the rest of my life. No one I have ever taken care of has ever expressed something that had touched me so deeply in the way of gratitude. You simply said,“I will miss you. I will miss you. I will miss you.” You were saying your goodbyes to me.
I later dreamed of you as I sometimes do with people who have passed away. It was a good dream
I will miss you too, M.
The trees reach out as silent witnesses always willing to listen to your troubled heart. Nature offers her ears to anyone who speaks into the omnipotant silence. There are places that wait for you. You are loved....you are wanted....you are cared for. You are not alone.....you are not alone.....you have never been alone.