Saturday, August 27, 2011

Putting It All Into Perspective

     Yesterday, I had my first real day of clinicals. Although this is my second semester, yesterday, I felt like a REAL Nursing student. I began by getting my patients med list and listening to report. That was certainly informative. Reading the patient's history was educational as well as a lesson. The thing that really did it for me was changing out the IV bags and giving IV push meds. Loved that. The only downer of the day was when my patient vomited and he had a small bowel obstruction. The smell left something to be desired.

     My lesson of the day was that we have to appreciate the life that God gives us. You can't take any of this for granted because you never know when it's your time. The patient that I had yesterday has Stage IV Colon cancer. He's fighting it tooth and nail and he's so brave. He had a bottle of prayer oil on his stand and it was obvious to me that it's his faith that has sustained him so long.

     Death used to make me so sad. It hurts to lose something or someone whose close to your heart. I know because I've lost three babies, grandparents, an uncle, childhood best friend, and my brother-in-law. The latter was the one that sticks to me like glue. More about him later. Anyway, I was reading the Good Book one day and I found that we can't go back home to He who loves us most in the flesh. We have to be in the spirit. I just hope when it's my time, I've accomplished all that I set out to do.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Swimming Ever Since

     When I was younger, my mama was interracially married. She's Black and her first husband was White. My stepfather was a wonderful man. Sadly, they didn't stay married long. I think it was a combination of living in the South, both coming from prejudiced families, and not having enough income. They struggled but he was a good provider. Anyway, that experience taught me a few things.

     For one thing, I'm color-blind. I don't see race when it comes to dealing with people. I love everybody just about the same. Second, I gained an understanding about ignorance real early on. Prejudice doesn't have a color. Last, that stepfather of mine taught me so much in such a little bit of time. He taught me to read and write, swim, ride a bike, and he even bought me my first pair of skates. He never made me feel like I wasn't his own.

     Unfortunately, when they divorced, my mom wasn't in the best place mentally and emotionally. She was at times very abusive and she just couldn't love us as a mother should. Eventually, she lost custody of me and my brothers. We were separated for years. Over 20 years to be frank. Not a day went by that I didn't miss them. I still do. Everyday. Each and everyday. I was raised by my Mom for a time and they by their dad. He and my Mom have never spoken since and it used to bother me something awful. She never had a kind word to say about him and I think her perception was somewhat distorted.

     I prayed about this and I asked God to help me find my brothers. Immediately, I found the baby boy, Matthew, but it wasn't until later that I found my middle brother, Andrew. I've made contact with Matt, but unfortunately, the middle boy wants nothing to do with me. I don't understand it but I've accepted this and moved on. I must say that it hurts terribly. His family is beautiful and God has blessed him with a wonderful wife. He struck gold. Matt has an interesting life and he marches to the beat of his own drum. We're still getting to know each other (thru FB) and it's not what I hoped for but right now, this arrangement seems to work. As for Andrew, I know God has a plan for that. I think of that brother as The Promised Land. One day, we'll get there.

     What brought this to mind was something my Mom said. She said years ago, a really good man taught me how to swim. (I was surprised because she never says anything nice about him.) I was four and she remembers that he spent the whole summer teaching me in his spare time. At the end of the summer, he decided to throw me in the pool. Before he did, she said that he told me I would either sink or swim. She said much to her delight, I've been swimming ever since! My life has been a HARD one and truth be told, there are so many times that I justed wanted to throw up my hands and quit. Instead, I soldier on. I've made stupid mistakes and put myself in terrible predicaments. Every time, He forgives me and lets me know that I'm his daughter and that I matter. In a world of billions, I matter. My mama didn't give credit where it was due. Although, I was blessed with a great stepfather, I say that it's only by God's Good Grace and the love of his Son, Jesus Christ, that I've been able to make it this far. Nothing and no one else.


     My second semester of Nursing School started Monday. For some reason, I am just tickled pink this time around. I got a B last semester for my Fundamentals class and I was so upset because I had my heart set on an A. I guess that comes from being an overachiever. (I pray to God alot about that character flaw of mine.) Anyway, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't want to quit. I felt so ashamed of this because I prayed for years for God to help me become a Nurse.

    After much trepidation, I drove to school. I wanted to spend more time with my kiddos but I knew it was time. When we started lecture, I became euphoric. I was able to grasp concepts easier and my instructors are wonderful. All those disease processes and signs and symptoms. I loved it! I LOVE IT. I couldn't wait to get home and share my new found knowledge with my kids.

    The best part of my day, however, was when I got home. My babies were there waiting for me. The best part is they are healthy and beautiful. I teared up a little because the good Lord sure did bless me beyond belief. Nothing else compares. I used to want to just put them off on their Grandmas and have time to myself. I couldn't wait to be rid of a few kids for the weekend. How awful is that? Now... I love being their Mama. God entrusted them to me. Me of all people. All I want to do is be with them all the time. Unless I'm at school of course

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CoCo Puffs

     Out all of my children, there is one who stands out amongst the crowd. She has the most beautiful heart and she stands by her convictions. She has never really been a source of trouble and when she was younger, I nicknamed her my Golden Heart.

     If I need help around the house, she's there.
     If I need help with the babies, she's there.
                                                                Briana at 14 with baby, Matt.     

     Someone gets a boo-boo, CoCo is on it!

     When I do Bible study with the kids, she the most intent on understanding EVERYTHING.

     When she informed me that she plans on going to Fayetteville State University, I beamed inside because she's doing exactly what I thought she would. She's planned on college since she was 6 years old.
      This angel of mine is Briana Nicole and she was born 16 years ago. I was only 19 at the time and was enamored of this child who unexpectedly was born at home! She's number 3 in my family of 12. She was such a chubby baby that we called her CoCo Puffs and later just CoCo.

                                                                 Briana at just 2 months old!

     Through the years, she has become quite the little lady. She is modest and honest and everything that a 16 year old should be. She didn't go boy crazy, she's focused on her future, and she knows what she wants. She only sees the good in everybody and life is roses when she's around. Only once has a teacher ever called me and that was in high school. This girl has been known to give the coat off her back in the dead of winter! She would comfort a crying baby in the grocery store in a heart beat. Loves her family like no other. This is my CoCo Puff.

     When she turns 18 and heads to college, I'm going to miss that boisterous laugh and generous demeanor. I think that's one reason why I wish God would slow time down just a little. I just want a little more time for hugs and laughs and everything CoCo.

                                                          Briana and Matt last yr.