Looking for the
Yellow Brick Road
but at the wrong time
Yep some nights are like that,
you just watch the clock go round
with your mind
thoughts of who know what
going who knows where
feels almost like
the yellow brick road!
It’s one of those nights
here the first night of
I can actually say
I have had much better nights
as I sit out here on the lanai
listening to the frogs make music
wishing I were sound asleep
rather than hearing the frogs
seeing the insides of my eyelids
rather late hour of darkness.
it’s better than waking up the whole house
who seem to be sleeping
with the exception
who is sitting right alongside me
gazing out into the dark of night
both of us
having tried the
“let’s talk about it”
maybe something is on our minds
When that turned out to be
we opted for a swim in the dark of night
cautious not to wake the four leggeds who in turn would wake
Sandy and Stuart
then probably waking the entire neighborhood
cos’ after all if we can’t sleep
why should anyone else!
that didn’t work either.
decided enough on her part and back to bed with her.
So, here I sit
me and the frogs
the darkness of night.
It’s times like this that one wonders
what do people do with themselves that like to stay up all hours of the night and into the dawn do at such hours?
I myself prefer sleeping in hours such as these.
since that seems to not be in the plan for now,
I’ll just share a thought or two
about the first day of summer.
Hard to imagine that already we have hit that magical day, the longest day of the year.
Fitting that it would also carry into the night for me, as I am prep mode for my trip to Miami
on Wednesday, speaking there at a conference for the
Association of Death Education and Counseling
There I will also be honored to do a book signing and a wonderful opportunity to do an interview to later be shown on You Tube
which I am thrilled about
It will run about 3 minutes all told although it takes about half hour to record, along with other invited speakers at the conference.
Then back home on Saturday
to prepare for a trip to
Kansas City for a keynote for
Crossroads Hospice being held at
Harrahs Casino in Kansas City!
What a lovely experience that will be to gather with a fantastic group of hospice workers there.
Hospices across the country are facing great changes with legislation, with the economy and with bills being passed on Capital Hill.
Organizations are being called upon to do more with less,
and change is affecting hospice and those who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the care of those in need of them.
the hope is that the “vision and mission”
will remain the same.
The vision set forth by the pioneers of hospice
back in the days of the begining.
That of making those patients and the ones who love them live until the moment they die
with grace, dignity and all that they hope for and need to make their lives as wonderful as possible in the time that they have.
That has always been the vision
and some wonderful people have worked hard through the years to advocate for those they provide care for to be sure that happens.
Change is difficult at best as we become more challenged with laws, with rules and with rigid boxes that folks work within.
BUT, the latest hospice story that I heard actually hurt my heart.
It seems in a large hospice someone forgot the true “vision” and true “mission” of caring and somehow got too carried away with structure and policy/procedure to see the bigger picture.
Or at least from the story I got it seemed that way.
Thank the Creator this is not a story I hear often,
but a story that perhaps is one reason I am not sleeping tonight.
It seems that a lovey patient who was close to dying had decided she did not want to die with those acrylic fake nails on… so she had asked her hospice nurse if she could find someone to come and give her a nail manicure and remove the “fake nails” before she died.
The nurse knew just the person, and made a call to a fellow employee at hospice and ask if she would come to the patients home after work
(on a Friday night no less)
and remove these nails, give her a hand massage, and manicure. She explained the patient’s desire, and that she was nearing death.
The woman said she would be honored, but since her boss was off and the nurses’ boss was off (it was Friday afternoon after all), she thought it best to run this past the Director to be sure it was “ok”. So she did that, but knew it would be “hospice at its finest”.
The director was hesitant and asked these questions:
1. What do you plan to do there?
“I plan to take the fake nails off, give her a hand massage, comfort and put a clear polish off. I have been a nail tech many years!
2. Are you a home health aide?
Well no not officially anymore, as you know I was promoted years ago
3. Are you a volunteer?
Well, not officially I actually get paid, and next month will be my 18th anniversary here as a full time employee!
To this the director said she had an uneasy feeling about this, but if the nurse (who also had already worked 40 hours) goes with you I guess it will be ok.
Now keep in mind, the patient now was under continuous care so had nursing around the clock at this point, so there would already be a nurse in the home!
So the call was made to update the nurse who said, “ok, we’ll do whatever we need to for our patient”
Before that could happen the director called again and said, “I just have an uneasy feeling and I do not think this can happen.”
A dying patient of hospice who wanted fake nails taken off,
a dedicated hospice employee who was willing to do it and who has been an employee for 18 years and has experience in doing it, along with experience with patients, who is excellent with patients and families, who was willing to do this taking her own time…
and a nurse who had known who to call to make her patients dream and desire happen at the end of her life.
Someone in the position of power
true mission and vision
and our hearts ached.
In unison we said
“are you kidding us”?
We are talking about taking best care of those we are honored to care for at the end of their lives here.
Loving and caring Hospice people ready to answer the call, to go and to do
on their own time
to allow a woman to be ready to
transition, to cross over
in her way and in her time.
Someone decided it was
not “comfortable for her”, “out of her job description”, “she was uneasy”?
And in the middle of the night
I sit and remember
when the pioneers of hospice
the many stories throughout the years
that I have heard, participated in
that made dying patients
smile; their families
look back through the years
remembering the experiences
that took that little moment in time
that identified a death
and added to the rich and large life
I cannot help but wonder…
“what happened” in this situation.
But most imortantly
I thank those two hospice women
for not even thinking twice
on a Friday night
when they were ready to go
a last wish
for a patient happen.
Cos’ that is true HOSPICE
Hospice is about life
living until the moment you die
savoring each moment
with those that listen
respond to the moment
with grace, laughter
stepping up and stepping out
If you or a loved one need hospice
give them a call,
let them know of your need.
if when in hospice
if you desire, want, or dream
let them know of them
insist on them
someone will listen
dreams will and can come true
more times than not
Every day’s a Gift.
With that said,
I’m goin back to bed
right after one more swim
in the still of the night
right here at 3am!
Blessings to all who gather here
and to all
dance in the wind
even if only in your minds.
LIve with all you have
Dance with all you want
Be all that YOU are
Walk In Beauty