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Old 06-28-2011, 08:38 PM
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Default The Gift of Being a Nurse

My mom and dad died at home. And both of them died with dignity and grace, in their own beds, surrounded by those they loved.

I had watched hundreds of people die over my years of nursing, but my own father was the best. He was 76 years old when he found out he had lung cancer. For a man who never smoked it was a shock but he rebounded from the news quickly.

He was completely unafraid. It was only three months from the time of his diagnosis to the day of his death. And he used up every moment, living. In those three months, he called all his friends around him and spoke to each alone, reminding them of the kind and memorable things each of them did to make his life special, more loving, more interesting, and then he thanked them for it.

When one of his grandchildren asked him why he wasn't afraid, he answered, "Life has been incredibly kind to me, I have no reason to believe that death will be less kind."

My father was never a man to stay in any one place long. For years, he visited my sister and me every night, and never took his hat off. When I asked him why, he told me, "I never want to overstay my welcome." I could have told him there was no chance of that, but my father was not a man one argued with.

My mother on the other hand lived till she was 94, and she never minded "overstaying" anywhere. She was determined to squeeze every ounce of love out of life. She set out from the day I was born to make sure none of the kids in our family would ever have a fear of abandonment. She was a mother who felt most valuable and complete because she was a mother, or a grandmother, or a great grandmother or a great great grandmother.

She valued her ability to cook, feed and nurture as much as my father valued his ability to read all the Harvard Classics and go to college when he was 70 for an anthropology course.

My being a nurse, and my family's willingness to help, allowed me to give them both the gift of dying at home.

But the moments I treasure most about the intimacy of that time, will be etched in my mind, in pictures, tears and laughter, forever. They act as a shield to keep me from having any fear of death. That is the biggest gift any parent can give a child, and it has always helped me live my own life much more fully.

Carol Gino

http://hopefulhealer.com/
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:33 AM
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I so enjoyed reading that article, it made me cry. What a wonderful story.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:55 AM
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That is a beautiful story. My Dad is my hero. He gave me the gift of teaching me how to stand on my own two feet and depend on myself. He also taught me to stand up for what I believe in and fight for what I wanted. He is kind, intelligent and funny. I could only hope to be a small bit of the person he is.
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