Posts Tagged "Storytelling"

Earthquakes and Shifting Sands

Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts |

Earthquakes and Shifting Sands

Over the past few years I’ve experienced an uncomfortable shift. It started when several of my friend’s dads/husbands graduated to heaven. These were men who had a great impact on my life. They were faithful men who loved their families and their God. In the past two years, just among my Jones cousins, we lost three of our parents. Three people who have ALWAYS been in our lives. Just a couple of weeks ago, a cousin’s husband lost his epic battle with MS and last year another cousin’s 9 year old daughter lost her battle with DIPG. Every day I see it on Facebook and in the news. Parents, siblings, grandparents, children. .  . On and on it goes. I know this is life. After all, I am in that uncomfortable middle age where the parents are leaving us and we are left with the realization that the generation between us and death is shrinking. Of course, for me, like a tectonic plate shifting underground leaving big cracks in the earth, the earthquake of my own father’s death on August 30th changed my life forever.And now, I face a question many others before me have asked. We know we must go on. But how? How do we live in a world without them? How is that even possible? One of the difficult things for me is the realization that the future generations of my family will never know my dad. Much like the dismay I often feel when I realize that my husband never met any of my grandparents except Grandma Jones and Grandma Elizabeth, it makes me so sad. Even my youngest niece and nephew won’t have the memories of Daddy that the older ones have. The majority of their memories are of a grandpa unable to talk, struggling to stand, tucked into bed where they would climb up and hug him goodnight. But the Grandpa who at 75 raced his grandson across the picnic ground. . . they don’t remember that. I remember Grandpa McKnight expressing these same feelings. “Susie,” he said to me one day, a wistful tone in his voice. “I sure wish you could have known your Grandma McKnight’s Grandpa Stover. He was a wonderful man.” Then he brightened and said, “But someday in heaven you will!” Then he pumped his fist in the air and shook with unshed tears. I guess this sadness is normal, or at least hereditary. Something happened with my husband and my grandparents, though, that encourages me. It is no secret that I am a storyteller. A talker. A reminiscer. (Yes, I just made up a word.) Bruce has heard me tell the same stories over so many times, and my family has talked about being Grandpa McKnight’s “favorite oldest South Dakota granddaughter” and other Grandpa-isms that Bruce has internalized it. He will say, “Grandpa McKnight would have liked that.” And he is right. I could share similar stories about the things he has learned about my other grandparents....

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Being A Nurse – What I Like Best

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts |

I was thinking the other day about what I would say if someone asked what I liked best about being a nurse. You would think that after thirty-plus years I would have a favorite thing. So I thought about it awhile and this is what I came up with. It isn’t just that I can help people and make a difference in their lives. Oh, don’t get me wrong. That is a big part of why I like nursing, but it isn’t my favorite. After all, I am a caregiver at heart and I do love helping people. There is something so satisfying about knowing that your care has made a difference to somebody. This knowing is a precious gift to the caregiver! It also isn’t just because it is a great career. I didn’t know when I started nursing just how great it was! I thought I might like it, but I had no idea that it would be something with which I could support myself. Not only could I support myself, but I could do it on such a schedule that I could pretty much do anything else I wanted to do in life. There are so many types of nursing that you really can pick your schedule. True, there are the 12 hour shifts, but when you are young that is an advantage in many ways. I loved not being at work five days a week. And, as a “PRN” nurse where I set my own schedule in exchange for not getting benefits/not getting guaranteed hours, I could be at any church or family function I wanted to be.  It worked for me. I have often told people that nursing was a job I absolutely loved doing and it made the rest of my non-work life possible. My favorite part of being a nurse isn’t even that I value being a part of a team. That is a fantastic thing. Teamwork is vital in nursing. I have worked in places where it was perfect, and in other places where it was more challenging. I can tell you that if the teamwork is present, it is a beautiful thing. It is so very rewarding to be part of a team that can care for people and save lives, all while supporting and working as a well-oiled machine. Those moments are golden. So, after sharing several things that are wonderful, but NOT my favorite, let me share what is. It is something I have come to realize over the past few years more and more. My favorite part of being a nurse is the patients. People aren’t at their best when they come to the hospital. They are sick. They are scared. Their minds are often not clear. They depend on the nurse to make sure they are given the best care they can receive. That is a big responsibility, but also a huge privilege. I love asking the older ones what they did before they retired. (I...

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Grandma Walton’s Real Estate

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Grandma Walton’s Real Estate

Yesterday at work I was in a patient’s room giving a medication. My patient was watching The Waltons. I have strong memories of sitting at Grandpa and Grandma Jones’ house with the cousins, eating grapes and watching The Waltons. Awesome memories. While I signed into the computer, scanned the patient’s armband and medication, and gave the medication I watched and listened to two scenes in this episode. John Boy began by narrating the fact that when he started writing he wanted to tell the stories of his family and his home. Then it goes to a scene with him waiting while his teacher reads his story. It was the first story he had been brave enough to share and I found myself becoming nervous for him as he waited. Of course she loved it and told him that he had a gift. A gift that was his alone and he could do anything with. I was delighted. But wait, there was more! The next scene is John Boy talking to Grandma. Grandma is looking at the paper and she acknowledges that if the teacher says it is really good, it must be really good. She says she is proud. Then she goes off on a speech about how John Boy’s grandpa gave him an inheritance of the meadow and she doesn’t have anything to give him. He assures her that her gift to him was just being there, but she shrugged him off and kept talking. Grandma explained that her family was a family of story-tellers. When she was a girl they sat around and told stories. You could see the light come on in John Boy’s mind and he said, “Then I inherited my gift from you!” Grandma smiled. Shaking with delight she said, “John Boy, those stories have been maturing in my mind and now they are ready to be told. I will tell them to you and that will be your inheritance from me!” “Grandma, I cherish you,” said John Boy. And Miriam cried. It reminds me of my grandpas. I’ve sat and listened to all three of them share family stories with me. That’s why I write! Tomorrow is Grandparents Day. So many elderly people want to leave something of worth to their children. Many don’t think they have anything to offer. I suggest that the stories and wisdom from our elders is something to be cherished! Something to listen to and remember! Something to write down! Elders, go forth and tell! The rest of you. . . go forth and...

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