Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Planting Seeds...

I wrote a blog, a few years ago, and published it on Eons….of course, it’s gone.  I was reminded of it today by something that came in the mail.  But let me tell you what I blogged back then, first..

In the early Nineties, I was the Charge Nurse in the Operating Room at the local hospital.  We had  eight operating room suites on the first floor, and two in Labor and Delivery.  Additionally, during my tour of duty, the hospital opened its Open Heart Surgery services.

Also during my tenure, many of the scrub techs went back to school and became RNs.  And many of the RNs took their training to become RNFAs: Registered Nurse First Assistants.  That was the time of big changes in the OR, insurance companies were no longer paying MDs to “assist” surgeons with routine surgeries….  And so, RNFAs took on that role.

One person I remember fondly was Noel.  I called him Noelito because he was Hispanic and barely 18 at the time he was hired to work in the OR as an orderly.  His job was to go fetch patients from the nursing units and bring them down to the OR holding area.
When patients were transported directly back to their nursing unit, without going to recovery, Noelito would assist the RN who had to accompany the patient and give report.  He was always busy and always willing to help anyone who needed help.

In the holding area, he would take time to make the patients comfortable, bringing them warm blankets and getting a nurse to answer their questions.  I was quite impressed with his demeanor and with his work ethic.

One day I brought him a book, an English-Spanish dictionary for medical workers.  Since he was Hispanic, patients naturally started talking to him in Spanish, a language he could not speak.  As he was standing at the desk in the holding area, determining what he needed to do next, I approached him and put the book down in front of him.

He looked up at me, and I knew he needed an explanation why I would buy a book for him.  My reply was simple: “you can go far in this world, if you want to…”.   He carried that book in his pocket all the time and I saw him looking up words in it more than once.

I mentioned in my previous blog that I was planting seeds with him.  I don’t think he was aware of how much he had to offer, or how much he was capable of learning.  I wrote that blog because I had seen Noelito at the mall.  Not Noelito the orderly, but Noel, the RN.  Since my departure from the OR, he had gone back to school, gotten his prerequisites done, and entered the nursing program.

I forgot to ask him if he still had the dictionary—the seed—that I gave him…

In today’s mail, I received the quarterly magazine from the hospital.  One of the articles was about their new Endourology services and equipment.  In the photo, dressed in an OR gown, gloves, hat and laser goggles, was Noel, RN.  But not just Noel, RN, anymore: he is now Noel, RNFA, having completed that advanced training, too.

I am not going to take any credit for his accomplishments.  He is the one who did all the hard work of going to school and working fulltime.  He is the one who balanced his new little family, his job and his schooling.  And he is the one who graduated, took his boards, and passed.  And then decided to get some additional training, too….

All I did, I think, was plant the seed….


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Going Back...

I’m taking a scrapbooking class online:  daily word challenges.  We find the meaning of the day’s word in our life, write about it, and add a photo.  The purpose of the class is to help us learn to dig deeper and find what we really think about the everyday things in our lives.

Through posting my daily writing in the online gallery, I have met some wonderful women who share my love for documenting life as it happens.  Through our stories, we have learned about each other and how each of us approaches our life, today.

I feel a touch of the green-eyed monster as I read what others have written.  No, I don’t want to be somebody else, or live somewhere else, or have a different life.  Not really.  What I want is to revisit those wonderful days when my children were little.

I want to be a time traveler, going back a few decades in my own life.  As a time traveler, I can take all the knowledge and experience I have collected through the years and apply it to that time, back then. Perhaps I would make some different decisions, handle situations differently, or respond differently to the scuff and banter of everyday life.

Or maybe I wouldn’t…

Mostly, I would love the opportunity to just sit and watch my children.  Not fix supper, clean house, do laundry, or work in the garden, unless, of course, the children were there doing it with me.  I would know from all the life I have lived that I need to savor the moments.  Savor the special times that occur daily.  The words and voices that were my children.  The things they had to say…

I would discipline differently, trying to find out where the behavior came from instead of just punishing it.  I wouldn’t say “not now” when my children wanted to do something with me.  I would let the housework, or cooking, or laundry wait, instead of the children.

I would tell them how I felt about things and what I saw when I looked at them.  I would tell them how much joy they brought into my life, instead of telling them to “sit down and be quiet.”

Oh how I long for those little voices, those thoughts and ideas, and even that squirming and silliness.  Those days of innocence that pass too quickly, and leave a hole in an old woman’s heart.  I travel only through their photos for now, remembering and smiling as I look at each one…

There is a connection to that past that will never die.  It is emulated, closely, as I look at the faces of my grandchildren, catching fleeting glimpses of their parents at the same age.  I am sure that will come around again, with great grandchildren, if I am lucky.

But I really am lucky: my little ones are all grown up now.  They are good citizens and good parents.  And loving children, still….