Happy Belated 4th of July and isn't it appropriate that this should be the month that I announce I am taking early retirement from my nursing career. Yes, for the next year I am a full time mom and part time photographer while Johnny goes to Law school. My last day at work was July 7th and we had a little party! It was more emotional than I thought it would be, I've invested a lot of myself into the way I provide care for my patients and I won't be doing that for a while - maybe not ever again . . . makes me a little weepy and grateful for the experiences I have had.
You can't help but think about the beginning when you're at an ending. I wanted to become a nurse when I was in high school because I loved my science classes and I wanted to wear scrubs ALL DAY - who wouldn't?! Then as I got older and "mature," I was really excited about starting IV's, pharmacology, and emergent situations. I've always liked things that take a lot of hard work and consistency; I am a task oriented individual. So nursing seemed to be a good choice and I jumped on board. As my nursing career has progressed I've had many experiences that have re-iterated the importance that having a body is for learning and growth. I am a member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints and we believe that having a body is a necessary part of our salvation so that we can all return to live with God when our life here ends. I know that to be a true. There is nothing like taking care of someones body when they cannot do it for themselves, I've felt the spirit teach me the rightness of what I'm doing in the most unseemly situations. I've also felt God's love for me and my patients when there is nothing you can do and it is only going to get worse. As an infusion therapy nurse we have our oncology certification and one of our major patient populations that we give care to is cancer patients. We administer a lot of chemotherapy, so we work with a lot of patients and families who don't live for very long. Recently, when I was explaining what kind of nursing I do to an acquaintance, they asked (with shock and dread in their voice) how do I deal with dying patients, etc . . . it must be hard etc. . . I don't think it's hard or scary or gross. It may be hard to explain, but you become a part of someones life in a deeply meaningful way when you provide care for them in the last part of their life's here. And I guess it's possible to be mad about it and think that it's not fair or even come to the conclusion that God isn't mindful of us because of tragic loss, but I've felt exactly the opposite. God does live and he is with us when all else fails, endings are what they are and I'm grateful that I can help. Sometimes, I think that's why I also love being a photographer, it's a celebration of life all the time, no hard questions or tragedies to stare down or soul searching when you didn't want to doubt life's goodness. Everyone I work with is happy to be with me and we are memorializing some happy event in their lives: a birth, a wedding, a birthday, family life, etc . . . it's impossible to not be optimistic and joyful about all of that!!
GEEZ, really how do you follow that, this was suppose to be more light-hearted, so here is a picture of our happy 4th of July festivities! Me with my helmet hair and my ever vigilant Jack - undaunted in the face of sparklers (thanks Natalie for the pic ;)! Celebrating our country's Independence! God bless America!