Monday, August 10, 2015

Matters of Life and Death....and the in between.

A little over 18 years ago, I began my career as a care provider.  I worked as an end of life supporter. I was hired and trained at a big University hospital in Dallas while on my journey to becoming a registered nurse. I thought I had found my niche in the world....waking up each morning with a purpose. I was a single mother, recovering from an abusive marriage. I had the opportunity to pick up additional shifts and I was gaining experience along the way.

My job was to help people who were at the end. They were not going to make it. I knew it. They knew it.
It became part of my job to sit and listen. I heard stories about how they had lived. Who they had loved. I met their families. It wasn't about dying and they didn't remember being was about their personal "in between".   What had they done, who had they known, what would they miss?

I realize now, as my role has shifted into beginning of life care, that although my focus is on birth and helping a woman birth her is more about the "in between".

Its about the love affair that began before I met this woman and her partner. Even before that, its about her childhood, her sister, her mother, her aunt, her grandmother. She is a perfect puzzle of pieces gathered over time to make her the woman giving birth today.
I cannot ignore her "in between". Although this is the beginning of her life as a mother it is a part of a bigger picture. She will not forever lose who she is....a series of pit stops, road bumps, boyfriends, girlfriends, secrets, fears, education, jobs, triumphs, traumas, wishes, hopes, and dreams on the journey of her life. This is her life.
The pain that she feels on this day is a purposeful reminder that she is alive. That she is living, breathing, being capable of amazing things.
When I spoke to women who were dying they remembered this day vividly, the day their children were born. Not the pain or discomfort, but the miracle itself. The chance to provide a beginning, life, for someone else...and then these women would spend the remainder of their lives praying for these children to have better "in betweens" then they did. Kindergarten, middle school, boy trouble, high school, girl trouble, college.....marriage, babies of their own. LIFE.

I have been blessed to witness miracles in both life and death for a living and these people have become part of my life's "in between".
This work is my work, my passion, my legacy....MY LIFE and I am using my time here on earth to make a difference that will be stamped on the passport of someone else's life's journey.

As I see the posts lately supporting life, I cannot help but think....anyone can give life, its the "in between" that counts. We all deserve an amazing in between.  A chance to be who we are meant to be..... a chance to not only have a beginning and an end.
I don't think those who don't choose life are wanting to choose death.... Sadly, I think they are afraid of not being able to offer an in between.