This has been a week of highs and lows at work. I like the ER because usually the chance of getting attached to a patient is pretty slim. This is pretty much true for all the big ERs but not ours. We have people who use us sometimes daily and we get to know them, their families, their diseases and they get to know us on all our good and bad days.
Years ago now I met Miss Doris. She was a delightful 70's plus year old woman who had never married but 'adopted' her son Wayne Guidry and his lovely wife Cindy. Doris smashed right thru those barriers that I normally keep up... right into my and Jill's heart. She had her Masters in social work and was in charge of Childrens Services for the state. She worked with handicapped children and wrote a handbook used in neonatal intensive care units. She was a musician and played for her Baptist Church down the road from the hospital. Cindy told me tonight that she had composed a Christian song that I have yet to hear. She is going to also get me a CD of her last years playing which I will treasure. Doris would periodically come in when her lungs would fill up with fluid and she couldn't breathe. Dr. N., Jill and I had a routine with her and over the years we got so fast at it that her condition could be corrected in a few hours. We, Jill and I, were her nurses. She loved us and we loved her. Both Jill and I lost our mothers and I know now that Doris had a seat in the part of our hearts that missed our own moms. During a hospital stay Jill and I got her yellow flowers..... you see, yellow was her very favorite....and you would have sworn we had brought her diamonds. She went to Joshua's June performance with Cindy. Joshua dedicated his solo to her. She was thrilled and he was delighted to meet her. At each visit she would ask about my kids and my answer always interested her and she would remember.
During some really bad episodes of her heart failure her church would gather in the ER and pray. She had the will of a tiger and would pull thru every time. She came in for the final time last Thursday morning and it was bad. She wasn't recovering like she normally did. Jill and I remained by her side and let her know how much she was loved. She was eventually transferred to a larger hospital and seemed to be doing better. Doris was a 'no code' and did not want heroics done to keep her alive. She died Friday with her son Wayne by her side. God was so good to Doris because even though childless she was blessed with Wayne and Cindy, who dearly loved her. God was good to Jill and I because we had Doris for the past few years and were allowed to minister to her. She was our friend and like those left behind we will miss her. Doris you blessed me so very much with your faith and your courage. I know where you are and I am so happy that you no longer struggle with the frailty of your body. You believed, you lived your life with that belief and you have been rewarded. I just know that you are walking in a field ..... and it's full of yellow flowers.