I am an old soul. It is a good feeling to know exactly what and who you are and how you determined your own point of view in this world. The initial encounters in my nursing career were always beneficial in understanding myself. After graduating from college and moving on to hospital nursing, it occurred to me I enjoyed one on one time with my patients that were geriatrics the most. I loved hearing an 85 year old’s perspective on life. Getting older can be a joy. This was a good lesson to learn early on.
“Living a great life was not something I figured out, it just happened.” The old man with labored breathing managed to quietly explain to me.
I had walked into his room after his oxygen levels had dipped and reminded him to keep his cannula pointed up into his nostrils.
“That way I would be a happy nurse,” I said smiling.
He laughed and fiddled around with the paper tape I put loosely on his cheek bones to gently remind him to not remove the oxygen. I was not as busy tonight so I had time to share encouraging conversation with him. We spoke of family, love, and God.
Oxygen is needed for us to live. Obviously, he was not so concerned about if his levels dropped as much as myself, but I was beginning to understand a little about him. He was not scared to say to me he had lived his life. He had made peace. The difference between our ages was almost sixty years. He could teach me a thing or two.
It brought me such joy to sit with someone like this who was not afraid to open up and reveal life’s most precious moments and stories that brought clarity at just the right time. I felt it a privilege to listen in on wisdom . Wisdom was something that can come with age. It was not the type that came out of book learning. I was good at that. It was the ideal of spending time, being present, and engaging with someone that perhaps needed a listening ear.
As I approach closer to 60 and realize the miraculous life I have led ( read my blog and you will find out), I find so much encouragement in those early days nursing the ill back to health. As time has gone by oh so fast, I so thought my days were numbered for me to exit the world a young woman. I am learning that life is a one day at a time scenario and letting go and learning all along the way young and old are what make it all worthwhile.
I spend a lot of time alone these days. I try to help those that need it that are in my close circle of friends . I cry with some and I laugh with others. The last few nights I have come close to realizing how darn lucky I have been. I suspect only a few will really read this all the way through and to those I appreciate you. Many of you have had some tough breaks and others have had a truly great life. We learn early on what may or may not happen, but in many times it only takes one event to completely change the trajectory of your life.
Enjoy your today because tomorrow is no guarantee and swing for the fences as my old friend Noel used to say to me and many others.
Tonight no chocolate was ingested while writing this post. If anyone read my last blog, it was written in a fog and literally all over the place, but hey this is my own blog, I can do what I want, right?
In Memory of my good buddy- Noel. I miss you and your laughter.