Hugs, Tears, and Goodbyes: Episode One

18May11

Last Tuesday, I worked my last shift at the hospital.  I’d worked 50 out of the past 60 months at CCH.  It wasn’t just where I was born, where I became a nurse, or where I worked.  My coworkers – doctors, nurses, and staff – were family to me.

When I first started working at the hospital as a brand-new nurse in 2006 (fresh out of school, no experience whatsoever!), I wasn’t very open.  I would listen to conversations, but rarely participated or shared any personal details – beyond the details everyone already knew about me (my first visit to the unit was as a newborn – and many of the nurses and doctors remembered my family from my mom’s multiple visits to L&D/Maternity over the years).  Some things you just can’t hide. :-)  But the things I could hide, I did.  I didn’t talk much about my dreams and aspirations, my hopes and fears, or how weird it was to have a real job.  I didn’t talk much about me.

When I worked at the hospital 2006-2008, I thought it was a job.  I certainly didn’t love it!  However, there’s nothing like leaving an awesome job to make one realize just how awesome it was… So when I came back in 2009, I started to open up.  I was overwhelmed with the love my coworkers had for me – they welcomed me back with open arms! (Bad penny comments were strictly for fun.)  And gradually, I realized that L&D was a “safe place” for me.  Like my family and my church family, my L&D family knew who I really was (flaws, idiosyncrasies, and all) and they loved me in spite of me.

There’s no way to thank all of them for the profound influence they’ve had on me, but here are some of the things I love about my coworkers…

Grammy Liz, who remembered taking care of my mom when my brother was born…

Don't let anybody fool you. We may *look* like we're goofing off, but we mean business...

Tuelly, who, in her wide-awake or sound-asleep way, always provided some laughs…

Jen, who pointed out that nobody needs enemies when you have friends as good as ours…

Tara, who loves to countdown to her birthday (it’s in January), her next vacation, or how many hours it will be until she sees her precious Lily-dog…

Trish, whose own story of “messed-up life plans” on the road to becoming a midwife still makes me hope that someday a guy will “ruin” all my own plans… :-P

Tobe, whose gringa accent and propensity for swearing were, in their own way, almost endearing (and besides, she taught me how to cath someone practically with my eyes closed…)

Katie, the only one I ever thought was genuinely “too sweet” with patients…

Heather Maureen, who desperately hoped she could figure out a way to get me married and therefore permanently in the states…

Georgine, who loved orienting me because it meant she only had to give 20-30%, rather than her usual 60-70%… ;-) (but I annoyed the living daylights out of her with my OCD-ness as team leader…)

Katrina (aka Hurricane), who was/is beyond aghast that I’ve never seen The Wizard of Oz…

Alan and Craig, my favorite biomedical engineers (and doctors!)…

Rich, who loved to know how my “pyramid scheme” was coming…

Pam, who promised to come visit me and bring lots of cytotec with her…

Rebecca, my mentor, who taught me to keep a cool head under her watchful eye (and therefore under extreme circumstances) – and who explained why things should be done a particular way…  I’ll never forget the things she taught me about L&D, life, and relationships.

Claire, who prayed with and for me and patients…

First 5K! (April 2010)

Nancy, who inspired me to run my first 5K (and ran it with me, to boot!)…

Lisa, who always had a sympathetic listening ear…

Alexandra, who actually completed what both of us set out to do when we went to the hills of Kentucky a few years ago…

Beth and Mattie, who took care of my mom when I was born…

Fran, who actually meant it when she said, “If there’s anything we can do for you, just let us know…”

Annette, who took care of her staff like they were family and could always get those tough IVs in…

Liz, who could tell decades’ worth of L&D stories and reminded me to stay hydrated so my brain could float…

Kendra, who didn’t let our differing political views get in the way of an awesome friendship…

Becky, who didn’t want to talk about me leaving (because perhaps if we didn’t talk about it it wouldn’t happen)…

Tash, Kathleen, Bonnie, Janine, Wanda, Christy, Nat, Mirian, Tiff, Martine, Chris, Missy, Jen, Lydia, Eduardo, Bob, and so many others…

Thank you all – for woes charts, the dash, 3am outdates, meeting deliveries in the ER, snuggling with babies all night long, parties and food, shoulder dystocias, spanglish, L&D coffee, reading my mind in tense situations, and the hours and hours of talking.  I love you all so much!!!!

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2 Responses to “Hugs, Tears, and Goodbyes: Episode One”

  1. 1 Sam

    Your first picture is a riot!
    sam

  2. 2 Tía Catalina

    Saludos y despedidos son muy dificiles a veces, ¿no?
    Praying for you and miss you!


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