The Thank-You Letter Mom And Dad Earned Years Ago, But Never Got Till Now

The Thank-You Letter Mom And Dad Earned Years Ago, But Never Got Till Now

Mom, Dad, I should have said this years ago.

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On the first day of every school year, the director of my high school, Mr. Dioli, would come up and give a speech to the entire school. By our senior year, we figured out that it was pretty much word for word the same speech every year, specifically a part about saying thank you. He said that every day you should go home and say two simple words to your parents, "thank you."

Now, as a senior feeling on top of the world, I paid little to no attention to this speech, as I was too busy focussing on getting out of there and going to college. I figured, I say thank you to my parents all the time, why should I specifically say thank you today after my last first day of high school?

However, now that it's five years later and I'm a (dare I say it) senior in college, I have fully realized that Mr. Dioli's speech was by far the most on-point speech I've ever heard. We all forget to thank our parents. We take most of what they do for granted and after you leave them, you truly realize how much you owe them.

So, now that I'm in my final year of college, I'm saying a thank you to my amazing parents who honestly deserve way more than just an article.

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you.

Thank you for the past 21 years. For supporting me in every choice I make. For coming to every water polo and basketball game. For the early car rides to practice and the countless tournaments that took over our summers and weekends.

Thank you for dealing with me when I'm sick, and for always being willing to drop everything to make sure that Will and I are okay.

Thank you for allowing me to go to college where I want. Thank you for flying across the country to come to see me, and for allowing me to yell "Go Cocks" at the TV during every sporting event.

Thank you for being there every step of the way; for every adventure I take on and for encouraging me to continue to challenge myself.

It's because of you guys that I am the person I am today. I would not be nearly as confident, driven, or sarcastic if it wasn't for the lessons that you both have taught me.

From you two, I've learned the importance of sunscreen. I've learned that yelling at the television during sporting events is a totally normal practice. I've learned that "this could be the Christmas card" is just a way to get everyone in the picture to smile, and that even though no matter how much I complain, we will probably always do something active on Thanksgiving.

You've taught me how to be the bigger person. You've taught me that even if things do not work out in your favor, to continue to work hard because something will work out for you.

I can't thank you enough for everything that you've done for me. For all of the lessons learned, all of the trips made, tournaments watched, flights scheduled to South Carolina and phone calls made at random hours throughout the day.

I know that sometimes Will and I (but mostly Will) are huge pains to deal with, and we don't make anything easy, but we love you. I am nothing but grateful for everything that you have done for me and I can't imagine having anyone else to call mom and dad.

You guys are the best, and as much as I hate being across the country from you guys, it has made me realize how easy you guys made life for me back home, and how easy you made it for me to transition into college life and become an adult (even though I'm definitely not a real grown up yet).

Thank you again, I couldn't have done any of this without you.

Love,

Em

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.
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If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.


Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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The Ultimate Fall-Themed Bucket List To Make The Most Of Your Autumn

Here's a list of my bucket list for the next couple months.

Saige
Saige
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Fall is my all time favorite time of the year! October through December are the best months because the weather is amazing and all of the holidays are full of family and fun. There is just something about the fall air that makes the world so enjoyable. Pumpkin spice and football games are just a few of the beautiful things autumn has to offer.

Here are the top places my friends and I have been talking about doing these next couple weeks (and I guess we will see if we end up making it to all these places and doing these things)...

1. 31 nights of Halloween

31 nights of Halloween is new this year to Freeform, and I could not be more excited! 31 days is so much better than the usual 13 days.

2. Haunted House

Who doesn't love being terrified? Haunted houses are always so fun and the time leading up to it is always fun as well. Haunted houses and scary corn mazes are the best part of October.

3. A pumpkin patch

You can't have fall without pumpkins, and the pumpkin patch is the best place for that.

4. Carve the perfect pumpkin and roast the seeds

I don't remember the last time I carved a pumpkin, I am sure my skills have gotten a little better. Growing up the best part about carving pumpkins was always roasting the seeds after and putting cinnamon and sugar on them.

5. Halloween party

Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts about October because for one night you can be whoever you want. The decorations at Halloween parties are always so cute and creative as well.

6. Try everything pumpkin spice

This time of the year is most famous for everything becoming pumpkin flavor from coffee to ice cream and everything in between.

7. Decorating 

I love decorating and seeing all the different decorations for fall and halloween everywhere.

8. K-State football game & tailgate

Nothing is better than a nice crisp day cheering on the Wildcats to a victory in the Bill.

9. Shopping

Shopping is my favorite thing to do no matter the season, but shopping for fall clothes is the most fun. Finding cute sweaters and scarves to layer your outfits is my favorite.

These are just a few of the many things I want to do before it is too late and hopefully this gave you and your friends some ideas on what to do this fall!

Saige
Saige

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