Friday, October 07, 2005

I'll fly away

Today I watched my silver-haired little old lady wheel off down the nursing home hallway in search of home for the last time. Gerontological nursing clinical is over! For me that is. But Mary will just keep wheeling up and down the hallway, occasionally asking politely for directions home, probably for the rest of her life. It is heartbreaking when you think of it that way. But me and Mary also had some good laughs together. For instance, when she was trying to offer bites of her dinner to "Daddy" who is long deceased, and after persistently holding the spoon out to him despite my encouragement to eat it herself she finally concluded, "I don't think he's going to eat it." We both laughed long and hard over that one. She was also quite amused one morning to find that I was her student nurse. When I introduced myself and told her who I was, she burst into a smile and said, "That's funny!" I didn't get the joke, but her little chuckle is quite contagious. However, I think my favorite memory of her is a little more serious. I was trying to convince her to let me push her wheelchair for a walk outside one morning. She was courteously declining because she was in such a hurry to get home and didn't think she could stay for that long. I said, "Oh come on, just let me push you outside," to which she replied, "Why don't you push me home?" We laughed about that too, but as we were going down the hall, Mary began to sing. "One glad morning when this life is over, I'll fly away. To a land where joys will never end, I'll fly away." I had never heard her sing before that morning and she hasn't done it since. I hope and pray that soon she will get home to Momma and Daddy and a land where joys will never end.

One more check on the road to nursing list is done! But that is what it's all about.

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