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My past and how one life situation can help you to realize your career passion and a life of caring for others.Aug 30, '11 by hjashwell
On the eve of a Junior Olympics Gymnastics meet, an 11-year-old girl helplessly watched her seriously ill father transported and admitted to a nearby hospital. For 6 months, pancreatic cancer dominated her dad’s body and progressively made him sicker. Despite his somber situation, the father optimistically insisted that his little girl attend her athletic event.
Accompanied by her mother, the daughter flew to another state to compete in the Junior Olympics. Several days passed. They called the dad at the hospital. They told him that the gymnastics meet was over. His daughter did not do well enough to move on to the next level in the competition. They were planning to return home early.
Once on the phone with his daughter, the father could not end the call. Twice, he asked her questions about how she fared in the competition. Repeatedly he said, “I love you.” The conversation did not go anywhere. Long silences ensued.
However, the dad held onto the phone call, not knowing what else to say. The situation and the conversation hit the mom the hardest. She felt, rather, knew that something was wrong. Mother and daughter caught a flight home to Vermont the next day.
Calling from a layover to check in, the mother and young girl learned that the father had just passed away. He was not alone at the time fortunately, but the mom and the girl did not get a chance to say good-bye. The daughter, however, believed that this is the way his passing was meant to be. Her dad had fallen into a coma the morning after their telephone conversation.
Arriving at the hospital hours later, the mother was distraught. Her tear-stained face revealed that she had wept on the entire flight home. Yet the little girl was strong and supported her mother as best as she could. When they arrived at his hospital room, the young girl finally saw that her fathers’ passing was as he intended. Her dad lay in the bed with a smile on his face. However, the only person who perceived this was the 11-year-old girl. The awareness of her dad’s smile helped her console members of her family in their grief and the difficult time that followed....
That little girl was me. Now, 20 years later, I have decided to pursue a nursing career following a profession in mechanical engineering. The events of my father’s death had a great impact on me. I find myself re-living them as if they occurred yesterday. Thoughts of my father dying spur me to want to help people through death. I think of nursing patients back to health. When I think of my dad in the hospital, my first thought revolves around nurses who are always there for the patients, and I am in awe of that wonderful chosen life path of caring.
I discovered that individuals, who spend most of their lives caring for others, end up in careers that push them away from this type of support. Helping others is emotionally straining. However, I realized that I was at my best when I stayed strong and supported others in need. This is what nursing is about. Moreover, it is a career for those who have a calling for it, as I do. This story of my father reminds me that life is too short, that we should love those close to us in our life, and to remember it is never too late to change careers and be there for others, as I did when I was a little girl.Last edit by Joe V on Sep 2, '11 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
I am a present engineer working for a non-profit in Arlington, Va. Once my husband is finished with medical school, I plan to pursue a career in nursing.
hjashwell has been a member since May '11 - from 'Arlington, VA'. Age: 33 Posts: 6 Likes: 13
3,009 ViewsSep 2, '11 by maelstrom143This was beautiful and touching. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us why we went into the field.Sep 2, '11 by hjashwellThank you so much maelstrom143 for commenting! Its really hard sometimes to share some very personal experiences and I appreciate your response. As you read, I'm not a nurse yet, so its comforting to hear from one that's been in the field with a nice comment like yours.Sep 2, '11 by 1uvakindmomwow...that was beautiful...brought tears to my eyes. i love being reminded why i am going to nursing school =DSep 2, '11 by CBsMommyThank you for posting such a personal story. This is a great reminder to me of why I got into this profession in the first place...to help people, whether sick, dying or healing.Sep 2, '11 by sparklie.ladyI had a similar experience (although I was much older) with my mother's death. Your article reminded me of what our family went through and how wonderful her nurses were--especially allowing me to bring my 3 month old into the ICU so my mother could see her right before she lost consciousness. This is what finally pushed me to make my career change and become a nurse.
Best of luck to you once you begin school and until then, may I saw how proud I am of that 11 year old girl?Sep 7, '11 by hjashwellWow! I didn't expect to get such amazing comments back to this essay. thank you all!
sparklie.lady...you made me teary eyed - you are such a sweatheart...I love hearing people's stories about changing careers. So many people have some amazing reasons to go into nursing and i'm so happy to have found a place where so many others feel the same way as me about wanting to take care of others.Oct 4, '11 by duckyluck111I think you'll make a great nurse and the nursing field needs more people like you! What a beautiful essay. Keep on going!!!