This I Believe

Terrie - Willcox, Arizona
Entered on June 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe

As I watched my Father take his last breath, I thought, now is the time to do something. Dad always wanted me to go to nursing school and have a career. I fought it.

I didn’t think I would be able to go back to school at my age and with four children. But when I called his Hospice Nurse to tell her he had passed away. She said thanks and that she would call the mortuary. I heard a dial tone. No” I’m sorry”; no” we’ll be right there”. Nothing. I got mad. Incredibly Mad. How dare she brush off my Father’s passing with such a cavalier attitude? This was my Father. As I stood there, I decided right then: I would go to nursing school. I would be a Hospice Nurse. I believe no family member should ever have such a feeling of despair that I had that night as a loved one passed from this life.

I was a single mom with two children under the age of seven and two teenage children. I quit my job in order to go to school full time. I didn’t have years to complete my degree. At 43, I went to Nursing School and graduated with Honors with my LPN .

Now I work for Hospice in my community. I make sure that every family I visit knows they can call me, day or night, and I will be there. No matter what, nothing is more important than a family in crisis that needs someone. Someone to talk to, vent with or cry with.

My first visit with a family that was in crisis was difficult. I watched a beloved member of the family leave this world. I watched the family cry and pray for relief of the pain that had claimed their loved one for so long. In a way, it was like watching my dad all over again.

I still get emotional about that night in December when I lost my Dad. Several years later, my Mom was in Intensive Care in another state. I called and spoke to her nurse every night. I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable or in pain. I did want her on Hospice, even though I was hundreds of miles away, and not able to take care of her. Mom passed quietly with family near. The way Hospice does it.

I love my choice of profession; I can’t imagine doing anything else. Being with a family in crisis is the most rewarding thing, next to my children, that I have ever done. At 49, I decided to go back to school again and finish my degree for my RN. I now have two married children and two teenagers and again am a single parent. But I would make no other choice. Hospice is in my blood and in my soul and I believe every family deserves compassion when a loved one passes…