Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, April 26, 2010

Taking A Glimpse at the Portrait of a Life

"I never knew a man could fall so far
'til I landed here....

Come to me, Hannah,
Hannah, won't you come home to me
And I'll lay down this bottle of wine,
If you'll just be kind to me....

I'd walk one mile on this broken glass
to fall down at your feet..."

--lyrics from the song,"Hannah," by Ray LaMontagne--

Last night at work, I took care of a patient named Mr. Lewis.*

Mr. Lewis has been a heavy alcohol user for most of his life. He came to us after being in an motor vehicle accident. Upon initial hospitalization, doctors and nurses treated his withdrawals from the alcohol, which, he informed me, "was like going through hell." Now he's sober, with some broken vertebrae, and coping with real life.

His wife came by our hospital to serve him divorce papers yesterday. By the time I came on shift, nobody was home behind the beautiful blue eyes that covered his face. He was absent, lost somewhere in regret and shock.

He told me about the divorce papers, after I let him know I'd be his nurse for the evening and spent a few minutes talking with him. He looked everywhere but into my eyes, as he talked about those papers and how he'd been married to his wife for over twenty years.

I asked him if he needed anything on my way out his room, and he said, "Unless you can buy me back my life, I guess not."

Time is a thief. It doesn't give back what it takes. The years roll by and they take our lives right along with them.

You can sell your soul to the devil, but he takes what you give him and doesn't look back.


Ms. Rivers* was my other patient last night in room 308B. She is 90 years old and has several tubes and lines attached to her presently, as she sits in a hospital room in her wheelchair.

"I wish they'd take this tube outta me," she said. "It's ridiculous. I'm 90. I thought I'd die here last week, and I just want to enjoy what I've got left."

She smiled at me and then took me by the hand and told me to enjoy my youthful beauty and soak up life for all it is worth.

"It goes by too fast," she said. "Slow at the same time, but at the end of all things, you realize, it went by entirely too fast---and you only get one shot. Make it count," she said, as she looked into my eyes and smiled.

That smile told me a million stories about the life Ms. Rivers has lived. It didn't house regret- it housed fullness, like she had a secret of something sly and wonderful hidden behind her wrinkled, cherry red lips; her smile resembled something like a wink of the eye.

I often say being a nurse is like walking into wisdom's classroom each night I go to work.

Last night was no different :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow!I'm really inspired by those stories. I happened to compare Mr. Lewis from Ms. Rivers, they are both patients and suffering illness but what make them different is their outlook in life. The things that they have done in the past make their present. Mr. Lewis living a life of regret and emptiness while Ms. Rivers of fullness and purpose.I'm blessed by this story. That whatever we are doing today and any decisions we are making at the present will have consequences in the future. Time must not be wasted cause it will never be brought back. Personally people in uniforms and scrubs are very blessed to to be nurses and doctors.It's a great privilege and as well as great responsibility to be with persons who specially need physical care and even spiritual guidance.