Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love the Ones Who Love You

I received this email just a little while ago.  This afternoon I went to Kindersley to look at a home there for us.  I ended up at the hospital visiting Andy and Lindsay (a nurse I went to nursing school with who was a good friend of mine all through school).  She and Andy work together now.  We all visited and chuckled, I had no idea what was going on with any of the patients in the hospital today.
Throughout my nursing career I have seen many couples in rooms, one watching the person they love most  in the world pass away.  Everytime, it breaks my heart and while other nurses seem to explain it away as "they've had a long life together"  I could never really imagine how terribly painful it must be to lose the one with whom you've shared your whole life - good, bad, and ugly.
I think for most of us that are married, we are in the daily doldrums of life where one day blends into the next and we forget just how important that person we share our life with is.  I know for the last 9 months I have been more grateful for the wonderful, amazing husband I have been blessed with, maybe more than ever before.  I know for myself, NO ONE has ever loved me like Andy loves me. 
I know this is all pretty raw and transparent but I wanted to share the following message wtih you - Andy sent me this just a short while ago.  I think it drives home the point how important those people are in our lives and how important it is to show them - even in the doldrums of our everydays.  After all, it is our everydays that make our lifetimes, right?  I hope this blesses you and touches your heart as much as it has mine.
--- On Sun, 2/8/09, A Ortman  wrote:
From: A Ortman
Subject: Elmer Harris
To: "Christie Ortman"
Received: Sunday, February 8, 2009, 9:32 PM

Every single day for the last 7 weeks, Elmer's wife has pushed her walker from their home, where Elmer was the primary care giver for his wife because her legs were so weak.  Everyday she pushed her walker, with I am sure, great effort to come and sit with him and visit.  We would bring them supper so they could eat together in his little room.  Every night she would kiss him goodnight and walk home or get a ride from one of their children back to her home where her daughter would help her to bed.  Then she would wake up and come back in the morning.
Everytime we woud have to make a trip in the ambulance to see a doctor in the city, his wife would be there to see him off and be the first one to greet him when he returned.  She sat with him so much, for so many days that 2 days ago she ended up with major edema and sever cellulitis in her lower legs for which we put her into the hospital on large doses of antibiotics. 
Lindsay and I pushed a bed into Elmer's room and moved some stuff around so that she coul be in there with him, right beside him to hold his hand.  It was at that time that I promptly warned them that "it is summer camp rules only, no hanky panky Elmer".   So, there she was, legs elevated, head raised, one foot 6 inches shorter than the other (hence the problems walking), layig in bed next to her husband of 50 some odd years holding his hand.
At 7:30 pm this evening, Elmer Harris passed away holding his wife's hand with a room packed with family, so much family that we had to open another room. 
It is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
Though I don't always show it, I love you.
Andy Ortman

EMT - Kindersley Pin It

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