Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hospice time is over

Yesterday I turned in my badge and met for the last time with the staff chaplain. Wednesday night was my last night on the unit. And today I am just sad, sad, sad. I miss them. I miss the patients--and there are a couple of extra special people there these days. And I miss the staff, badly. I miss the nurses, M, and K, and R, and the other M, and the other R, and P, and E. And the CNAs, C, and J, and A, and N, and J, and P the social worker, and J and K the extra-sweet volunteers, and R-with-whom-I-used-to-work-20-years-ago, now a CNA down the hall in Oncology. I felt like part of a team on the unit, and that was a wonderful gift. I felt appreciated, and, yes, loved, and I loved in return. I'm beyond happy and beyond lucky to have had the experience, and I'll never forget them, and today I miss them all, and I wish them all well, and I am sad. They are getting another CPE student, the staff chaplain told me. This will be good--they need the extra support a student can give, and the student will find it a grand experience I predict. In my deepest heart I confess to being afraid the new student will be so much better than I that they will feel I am a fraud. That makes me sad too. I'll be a grownup and hope the new student is just wonderful and they love him/her, but they still like me too.

Staff chaplain backed off on his negative feedback, and left me with this: that he admires me for moving past the hardships of my life and being able to be a caregiver; that he finds me to have an unusual ability to see behind what is presented to reach a nuanced understanding of what is happening with a person; and that I am a good person. I needed that. I'll miss him too!

Budgets for spiritual services are getting cut--just as I find I want to grow up and be a chaplain. Because I am sad today I am also pessimistic. Today I think, I'll never find work, I'll never be good enough, it's all in vain.

I am supposed to be writing a mini-sermon full of action words. I am too sad. It needs to be done by MONDAY! I am just too sad to think in action words. I'll get there tho. Mark 1 is not that simple, seems like Jesus calls/disciples answer/happy happy joy joy but there are such rumblings in the background. (John's been arrested, and Jesus is after all saying REPENT which is not the most cheerful message, and then there is Zebedee's father left sitting in his boat--the undercurrents are there to tell us that being a person of faith is not the easiest choice in the world. We forget them here in the US because cultural support for a variety of Christianity is so strong, and we have linked Christianity with superiority to the point that we miss the rumblings entirely. Or, we hear them and immediately think in terms of THEM, whoever THEY are, the ones we need to control or silence, the ones who threaten.)

Blah blah blah blah. RevStacey has a snapshot on her blog of Revsparker in Boston!!! and you have to go to RLP chat to find out who they are but I wish Revsparker was in Denver, RevStacey too, so I could meet them.

And that's my story. Rendered more poignant by the fact that I think I actually cracked a rib in my fall last Sunday, so the week has been achy. Finally able to walk Wilson Wolfhound again. Now he's snoozing at my feet, keeping my feet warm, and doing his puppy job of Making Everything Better. That's what puppies do when they aren't wrecking everything they see, and I hope he is happy staying a puppy all his life. He is absolutely the sweetest dog in the world.


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