I was there for my mom when she was sick as much as I could possibly be. I tried my absolute best to keep her comfortable and keep her happy, despite the situation. I gave as much as myself to her as was humanly possible. I don't regret a single day of it. To be honest, it was easy to do it but sometimes I didn't understand how I was capable of it - until I met my mom's hospice nurse and social worker.
Two people were able to come into a dying stranger's home and do everything to make sure she was as okay as she could be. They were so caring that eventually, it started to feel like they were just friends visiting rather than taking her vital signs or going over important paperwork. That's when I learned that I was capable of caring for my mom the way that I did because I had the heart for it. I could no longer understand why not everyone would do the same thing for others. They showed me that it was okay for me to feel broken and exhausted but they also showed me that I was stronger than I felt.
Not only were they there for my mother, but they were there for me as well. If I questioned if what I was doing was right, they were always there to reassure me that though it may be the hardest thing I do, it's the greatest gift that I could give my mom. Before them, I never wanted anything to do with caring for other people, especially those who were dying, after my mom passed. However, because of watching them care for my mother and care about me as well (someone who was grieving their mother while she was still alive) I learned that there could never be anything more rewarding than helping other people whether I knew them personally or not. I was able to accept that not everyone can do that and that it's perfectly okay.
In January, I was going to go to school for Journalism. I had two years left. Although writing is still my favorite thing in the world, I could not possibly imagine not helping other people whenever I could anymore. After my mom had passed, I felt like I had lost myself because I didn't have her to take care of anymore. My job was done and I felt incomplete. That's when I realized that this IS something I have to do forever. I would not have been able to realize that without these two people & their encouragement. Without them, I would never have decided to pursue a career as a Hospice nurse one day. I'm starting out as a CNA on an Oncology floor in a hospital that also keeps hospice patients who are towards the end, when a few months ago I never wanted to care for more people ever again. Now, I'm looking forward to continuing my education and the day that I can walk into my first home as a Hospice nurse - all because of them.
I want to thank them for letting me realize that I need to take care of myself too. I want to thank them for being so kind to my mother and making her laugh. I want to thank them for being so patient with us when I know things would get crazy. I want to thank them for listening to not only my mom, but also me as well. I want to thank them for buying my mom milkshakes, or hugging me when I needed it and giving my son attention as well. Thank you for every small or big thing you did in those months of caring for my mom.