Nursing has always been a sweet remembrance of taking care of others... not only their frail body, but their heart, mind and soul. Every once in a while, their story sticks with you. You learn from it, you thrive to understand it, but most of all, you walk away with a heart completely changed.
The first time I met Bill, he was sitting straight up in his wheelchair. He was a tall lanky man, almost my height while sitting in his chair. Soft spoken, gentle to the touch; his brown eyes gleamed with a story of a hard-working life. He grew up in a small town, worked hard during the day on his farm. Raised two children with his loving wife and lost her years ago. "She was the love of my life- the woman that carried me through any hardships, who was there with me through all the joys, pains and laughter in life. I miss her the most when I close my eyes at night, because she is no longer laying next to me for me to talk to about the simple things of life." He would look at my face, look at my name tag, and say..."you share her name..." Often, I would be doing my hs med pass and come to his room. I would knock and say, "Bill, it's the nurse, may I come in?" "Oh yes...my dear. Please, come sit with me for a few minutes." He would light up in an instant. "Today wasn't a good day. My arthritis is acting up and I have been thinking about my wife."
He often would tell me stories of their life together- young kids that barely knew what life was to bring, but knew their young love was meant to be. Back in those days, your first love, your one true love, was the one you married. "The first time I laid eyes on her, I knew she was a beauty. I couldn't take my eyes off of her, and when I held her hand and asked her if she wanted to share her life with me, I knew right then we had it made. Maybe I didn't have a whole 'lotta money back then, but she saw more richness in my love, anyway."
I got married this past June- James and I met five years ago, and the first time I met his gaze with mine, I knew there was something there. I didn't have many boyfriends for being 24, didn't have a whole lot of trust in my heart for someone to once again "stop talking to me for no reason" ...but this was different. I still laugh at how my best friend since 6th grade got me to meet her cousin. She had us meet a week after my nursing school graduation- she just said, "at least meet him- if it doesn't go well, then I will stop trying to set you two up. Promise." He drove up in his silver oldsmobile, daunting a faded yellow college football shirt, jeans and a pair of beat up old shoes. He was nervous, I could tell. He sat next to me in a lawn chair and made small talk. He was curious, yet hesitant (I couldn't stop looking at you hun- your red hair and green eyes..." ) Love is something you can't guess at. You can't aim for the sky if you don't know where the stars are; much is the same about love. You know love is out there but you can't aim for it without knowing how or when or where it will be.
Once you find that love, you can't let it go. After four and a half years together, on Christmas day, he got on one knee in front of his family, looked up into my eyes, and asked me if I would share the rest of my life with him. It felt like a million stars came bursting into my sky, and I said, "Yes, of course!"
We walked down the aisle in June... a small, imperfect wedding, a lot of nervous laughter, our closest friends and family watching us as we gave our vows to each other. We promised to always be there to share life, through sickness and health... til death do we part.
...I'd like to think this is how Bill's life went. Through his wife's sickness and health, he stayed at her side.
A few days ago, while resting in bed on a cool sunny day, overlooking the rose garden, Bill rested his eyes and passed away. I'd like to think that as I sat there and watched his eyes flutter, I was a part of a love story. My name was the same as his wife's... and as much as he missed his wife laying next to him every night, maybe it was only meant to be that I, only baring the love of his life's name... sat next to him as he went to meet her in Heaven.
I hope that James and I get to build our lives together, and be able to tell a story as Bill and his wife Julie did. Love is forever... and this story will always, always be forever in my heart.Last edit by Joe V on Sep 6, '13
jaelpn has '4+ nursing, 12 years medical field' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Assisted living- dementia care'. From 'Somewhere, IL'; 32 Years Old; Joined Dec '05; Posts: 48; Likes: 263.Sep 6, '13 by Summer Days, BSN, RNAwww so sweet. Pray for you and James to have a happy one, too.