The setting was not a traditional medical environment full of sterile floors and the usual sanitized scents and smells. This nurse was serving her patient in a home with carpet, homemade quilts, photos of family and familiar, healing scents of life and love.
This nurse was volunteering her skills away from the medical facility she would be paid to work at because her priority for these recent weeks has been for the one she has called Grandma for her whole life.
I watched this nurse be the sweet and smiling grand-daughter tenderly care for her grandma and transition quickly to become the nurse when the situation warranted.
These are not the only two roles this nurse walks in as she is also a beautiful mother and wife. Her children’s Great Grandma is ill…really sick. Great Grandma isn’t playing peek-a-boo anymore, she’s sleeping a lot… Questions from small children are asked and need to be answered in a way they can understand and learn to accept as too soon they will be left with memories and photos and the stories about Grandma they hear from others.
This nurse has a strength that must have been passed down to her from her Grandma as she competently exists in multiple roles often all at once. I watched her guiding others to offer nursing- level care while holding her youngest in her arms, answering calls from family miles and states away to allow them a moment to speak final words of love to their aunt or sister…her Grandma. She tenderly explained the physical signs and current stage of death she is daily being a witness to. She has the knowledge, experience and words to eloquently describe what certainly must be breaking this grand-daughter’s heart.
There were only brief times I could see the physical and emotional exhaustion; eyes welling up with tears reflecting the deep heart ache of daily seeing life slowly leave her children’s Great Grandma … her sisters’ Grandma… her Grandma.
Yes, this will be the final spring for her usually spry, organized, giving, stubbornly-independent and active 92 year old Grandma.
I am inspired, I am grateful and I am thanking God. Yes, I met a nurse today and her name is Danielle.
Oh SuAnne, this is so beautiful—so true. You have really caught the love which has existed between Beverly and her Grand children. Thank you!