Thursday, April 14, 2005

Risks Worth The Reward

It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever. Philip Adams

I believe we all have the same potential to change, for better or worse, the rotation of our orbit. Sun and shadow are common to every day, each in its own turn. Nature controls the amount of each. A life is just as much at the mercy of environment, but internal sun or shadow depends upon mindset, no matter what is going on around us. Nobody can steal your sunshine if it comes from a soul deep location, and shadow clutched at that same depth is immune to even the brightest sunbeam. God gives us all the same tools, skill in their use takes practice.
My pain is put to good use, so it never has the opportunity to make a bitter place inside of me. Journey's End is just a small portion of the sunshine that my own agony has inspired. Some of the efforts I am making are secret, for now, but other's are evolving and sharing them will only add to their gleam.
I worked in geriactrics for 24 years. I was good at what I did, empathy for the plight of the people I cared for had a real impact upon how I viewed what I did. Changing attitudes toward the role of nursing homes had begun to make positive alterations at administrative levels in the last year of my employment. I was passionate about it and up to my neck in implementing changes where I worked.
Then life kicked my family in the gut. I never had the time to do more than catch each member as they staggered or fell. When my husband was safely in Heaven, I began repairing what was broken inside of me. Now I am reshaping my life to suit my soul, and geriatrics has an honored place in the mix. The role I will play is much different than it was long ago. Somehow to return to being a nurses aide is more than I can face; images of my last patient kidnaps my mind when I even entertain the thought for over a second or two.
But yesterday I volunteered, one day a week, at a home that is implementing neighborhoods on halls I trod when I first became an aide. It is not the home that my husband and I worked at, side by side; the notion of walking those halls alone was just too painful to consider. But it is the first place he worked at after he got his certificate. It is also where my friend Tammy worked, as a Charge Nurse, when her abusive husband took her life.
Their echoes will be there, as will the vibrations still felt from every person I have tended to during my lifetime. That powerful merging of past and present will be a rich place to plant a future. He will remind me of the magic that love can do at the end of someone's journey. She will keep me centered on the road her death placed my feet so firmly upon. I pledge a day every week in honor of the part their lives and deaths has played in my own journey.
I will make a difference, not because somebody is paying me an almighty dollar or two, but because real living is about giving what you have for what you believe in. Every ache I ease will lessen my own, and for now that is all the payment I desire. I have no idea where it will lead me, but I do know it is the next step along the right path.