Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Just a morning when courage was needed....

When I came home tonight, I finished the "Mamaw bag". It's called the "Mamaw bag" because a friend of mine said it looks just like the bag her mamaw carries for shopping. (Translation in hickese: Mamaw means grandmother.) It is simply a canvas bag bought at a hobby store, covered with swatches and scraps of knitting. You can even use Rit Dye to dye the canvas bag to match. I didn't with this one. But I did put a flag on there for the 4th of July. It's just a tote bag that can be used for any purpose--I happen to love tote bags. I've got a million of them, both bought and hand-made. As I finished the bag, I thought of the events that happened at work on a particular day when most of us were tired, exhausted and looking for hope.... I hesitate to tell you guys this story. I don't want any of my readers thinking that I am trying to push my religious views on them. I don't want anybody thinking I am "preaching" or anything. Hell, it's just the story of a bad morning at my company. As you know, I have been extremely tired, fatigued, and emotional over this transfer to a new town. I hate that I'm so melancholy-- and blogging "un-cheerful" postings. Please forgive me. But I must be honest---I am having a hard time! Please let me get out these feelings of despair and discouragement. (And poor spelling, sometimes....) I usually work 12-hour days--and I live a rather isolated life. Although I see patients and co-workers all day long, I come home to an empty abode, and I ponder the "meaning of life" just like the next person. Sometimes I think I have "the answer"....and sometimes I think I haven't got a dadburn clue..... Who knows, eh? Who knows..... As I told you in my last post, here at my new branch office we're extremely short-staffed and desperate. Some of the younger baby rookies are hurting and disillusioned from the workload. I am so worried that they will resign out of desperation, without having experienced the joy that this particular job can bring. And already, one of them has. And to my eternal sadness, it is a friend of mine. And I sorely miss her already..... It's a terrible blow to my heart because taking this assignment had already meant leaving behind my best buddy Amber. Lord, I miss Amber terribly. I had no idea ahead of time that losing such a friend would hurt so much. Although Amber and I still talk on our cell phones frequently, it simply isn't the same. We can no longer sneak away to have lunch and gossip together. We can no longer have secret "giggling and laughs" at the goings-on of the office we worked at. How I miss my friend. Anyway, my friend here at this office has now suddenly decided that she can no longer handle the horrendous work-load. I do not blame her. It IS a hard life for a young nurse. But I wish she would stay. Oh, how I wish she would stay. I have cried two nights in a row over her leaving. It ended like this: She came into work two days ago, looking extremely exhausted and discouraged. No matter how many jokes I tried on her, she just couldn't laugh. "Come on, Brandi," I pushed. "Please!! Cherk up, for God's sakes! We'll make it, truly we will!" But to no avail. Brandi was exhausted and her husband kept calling on the cell phone to nag her repeatedly that he wanted her to quit this job. And although my heart was hurting at the thought of Brandi leaving, I am going to admit here that my selfish side was also pretty active--I knew that if she quit, the rest of us would suffer at the extra work her absence would cause for the rest of the employees. Lord, I was in a quandary. I didn't know what to do. I kept asking the heavens, what should I do? What should I do? She is a good nurse--a smart and clever nurse for her age. I have always admired her for her abilities at such a young age. And she's such a fun gal to be with--I would miss her so much. I had been SO HOPING that she could fill the void that my friendship with Amber had left in my soul.... Anyway, that day, as all us Road Nurses trooped into the office and began our preparations for the day, we congregated in the conference room to gather our patients' car-charts and the necessary paperwork & supplies that we'd need for the day. And then.... a song popped into my mind. Now, understand me here--I cannot sing for beans. My own sister cringes and moans whenever I start even the simplest of songs. In fact, my sister can be downright BLUNT about telling me to SHUSH when I try to sing. She makes remarks like: "Hey, can you sing solo? So LOW, that I can't hear you?" Or else she'll say something like: "Hey, can you sing 'far far away'---like in Alaska?" Hah hah, I always reply. Veeeery funny........ But I can't help it--I was born with a bad singing voice. But I cannot help myself--sometimes I just gotta sing!!!! (But I really try not to sing, should truth be known-- because I love my sister and I hate to hurt her ears..... ) But on this particular morning, in the conference room where 4 tired nurses were gathering their work papers for the day.....a song popped into my mind, and I couldnt' resist trying to sing it. But I was off key, and out of tune..... but then....just as I was starting to feel humiliation at trying to even attempt the song.... one of my co-workers chimed in..... ...and she sang in a pure and beautiful tone, knowing all the lyrics perfectly......and once the song was begun, we all, one by one, joined in with her..... And oh, how we sang. My co-worker led the song, her voice soaring above our tentative warbled attempts.....and her gusto prodded us on until we had all joined in more loudly....with even more and more arriving employees adding their voices to the tune until we had a fairly beautiful chorus going of this particular song!... Our singing reverberated through the office, our hearts gladdened with the joy of this simple song, refreshing our vigor for the day ahead...... "Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away; To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away..... I'll fly away, Oh Glory I'll fly away; (in the morning) When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away.... When the shadows of this life have gone, I'll fly away; Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I'll fly away ..... I'll fly away, Oh Glory I'll fly away; (in the morning) When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away..... Just a few more weary days and then, I'll fly away; To a land where joy shall never end, I'll fly away.... I'll fly away, Oh Glory I'll fly away; (in the morning) When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, I'll fly away..... " As our song faded away, we all wiped tears from our eyes. It was a simple song--but it filled our hearts with hope and gladness. And it made us all feel more love for each other. We had all shared our sorrows and joys in this simple little song... this simple song of a promise..... No matter what, we thought, we'd prevail against the illness and disease that plagued our patients---and we also hoped that we'd also prevail against the despair and fatigue that plagued our own bodies.... And.....well....we just plain felt better. Singing together on a discouraging morning made us all feel closer and more loving of our fellow workers. I recommend it highly. I have never felt so happy as that morning when we all sang a common song for hope against the day..... Because in singing the song, we knew we could survive the toil of this world and its troubles.... together. Together, we could survive. Please forgive me for my sentimentality these last couple of days. I am so very tired--and when I get tired, I get emotional. I am not pushing my religious views on you--I am simply telling you that I found a moment of joy and hope for the future one morning in the office--a moment in which my bond with my fellow workers triumphed---we were strengthened by a simple song so that we could go forth that day and do our jobs together, in hopes that we could bring a positive force to others! And now, I am going to go to bed--and I'm going to try to get up tomorrow with a renewed vigor to go forth in this new town, in this new area, with new patients, and new hope..... Goodnight, my friends......oh Glory!

16 comments:

Taueret said...

Lawdy dawdy woman, you're supposed to make me laugh, and here I am CRYING? AHHH! Hope things get better for you soon.

Sarah_Sharrett said...

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye
Hang in there Rebel, we, your internet family will help where we can and God is there to help with the rest.

islandgirlA said...

Great song choice...I sang it when I got to it on your blog space...so, you have another voice in your chorus. When I was a teenager, we had a beautiful voice in our church that taught us that song...she sang all the alto parts...a beautiful woman...she eventually was taken by cancer...thanks for the sweet memories of her. Music and song isn't given its proper healing qualities...sing more often! It really does 'lift the spirits'... hang in there.

Mar said...

What a wonderful way to start your day! Who cares what your voice sounds like it boosted your spirits and that's what counts!
Things will get better in your new place just have to have some patience.
It's your blog girl and you say whatever the hell you feel like!!
We're here for ya!!

Nicole said...

I like your bag. It is a one of a kind.

Kat said...

I like your bag! It's got a wonderful sense of exhuberance, like goats and cows and horses all mingling in the same field.

Bless you for doing the job you do. Nurses and teachers are the saints of this world. Things will get better!

oooowow said...

Wow..and I had some heartbreak being a harpist in a hospice. Oh..and..about the nurse that quit--you lost a nurse but she is still stuck with that ^&&** of a husband!

I love your blog....thanks for sharing and thanks for doing your job.

oooowow said...
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oooowow said...
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Beverly said...

Don't apologize! Your story encourages your readers and it shows us Who to turn to when we are at the end of ourselves. Thanks for that reminder!

Mary Anne said...

that is a beautiful post and a lovely song. thank you for sharing your days with us.

Tammy said...

I agree with tauret, we're not supposed to be crying. ;) I know the feeling of exhaustion, it wears you down physically and emotionally. Take heart that we are all backing you with our thoughts and prayers. You have one of, if not, the hardest job in the world. You are an inspiration to many of us!!

I happen you like your bag!!

Patti said...

Thanks for the song lyrics and your story. It inspired me to relisten to the Emmie Lou Harris version that I had forgotten about. Your bag looks great!

Lizardknits said...

I think the Mamaw bag is great! But maybe it's those plain white handles that are depressing you?........ Knit a couple of strips of eyelash yarn, and cover those plain white ones. That'll be better!

Mamaw's need flash!

Elizabeth

DianeS said...

From one Texas knitter to another...

As one of the godless heathen pagans you hear so much about, I wish I'd been there to sing with you. I love that song. Sing more! Not only will you feel better, but you'll eventually sing better, too.

BTW, I live in Austin, where the Yarn Harlot is shortly going to be visiting. I'm sure there's no way you could get off to go, but I was thinking. If you'll email me your address (dianes@texas.net), I'll get one of her books signed for you and mail it to you. Consider it a gift from one Texan to another.

Lily said...

Hi, I loved your story about the new nurse and the Texas country dog. It's hilarious. I felt I was there in that car trying to get the windows up! What on earth got into Buster?

Keep it up. You have lots of readers out here who need you!

(PS Your quotation, "It was the best of times, etc" is Dickens Tale of Two Cities. I'm a former librarian and cannot stop myself from correcting people. Sorry. Lily