We pose the same question to our children that once was posed to us when we were young...What do you want to be when you grow up? When I was a kid, my answer was always a teacher, a mommy, a writer. I did briefly want to be a pediatrician for about thirty seconds until I passed out at the foot of my mother's hospital bed sometime between ages 11 and 12. Do you know what I never wanted to be? A nurse. I know me, I know what I can handle and what I can't and I even knew it as a child. Bodily fluid, beeping machines, needles...yeah... that isn't for me, but God bless those that have made nursing their profession. I certainly have a deep appreciation for nurses.
Almost two weeks ago, my grandma broke her hip. She is getting rehabilitation at "the old folks home" as my daughter likes to call it. I see several nurses, and CNA's every day. I understand there is one of them and many more "old folks" that they are responsible to take care of. I get that it is a demanding, sometimes thankless job. In the whirlwind, I wonder if some working in the healthcare industry are even aware when they stop seeing their patients as people but merely a task to be accomplished so it can be checked off the list. My grandma is more than that sweet old lady down the hall, who had her TV set on the spanish channel, because she couldn't get to her remote. Grandma was born in 1926. She grew up in West Virgina and trust me, adios amigos is the extent of her knowledge of the spanish language. She is so much more than the person you see laying in the bed, or sitting in the wheelchair to eat dinner.
Corn pops in coffee cups, porch swings, blue and white tricycles and the best scrambled eggs I've ever had. She is walks to the park, summer shorts made on her sewing machine, discipline in the form of fuzzy pink slippers, and the reason I hate hot dogs to this day. She is praying to Ernest, riding the horsey; 2, 4, 6, 8, Johnny had a little snake, and a "don't be that way or nobody will like you".
Homemade peanut butter fudge, thumbprint cookies, banana pudding, Christmas lights and "let me hold that baby". She is the woman who wrote to seven guys in the service at the same time, the woman who had her first date with my grandpa at Camden Park, the woman who gave birth to five children and one half of the greatest love story I have ever known. She is "Lord bless you", all the love in the quilts she makes, the best green beans you will ever eat, and the precious woman I named my daughter after.
Grandma is more than the woman who pressed her button again for a pain pill because she forgot she just was given one 5 minutes before. She is more than the woman who doesn't complain...she doesn't like burnt toast any more than anybody else. She is more than a name on a chart. She is someone's widow, mother, sister,aunt, friend, grandmother, great grandmother, and great, great grandmother. She is the heartbeat of a family...I hope they add that to her chart.