Recently, one woman in particular has effected me. She's in her 90's and is as sweet as she can be. A nurse and I were in her room when she reached out and took our hands.
"I want to go home," was all that she said. Squeezing her hand, I nodded. "I know you do. You keep getting better and stronger and we'll work on getting you back."
Shaking her head, she lifted my hand slightly while pointed up. Piercing through my eyes, she repeated, "No. I want to go home."
Taking a deep breath, I raised my glance to the nurse across from me. Confirming my concern, she nodded and whispered, "Send flowers to the living".
I'd never heard this expression before. Later, I asked what it meant. Smiling, the nurse answered, "My Grandmama always used to say it. It means to take advantage of loving people while they're here. Don't send flowers to their funeral, because they're already gone. Spend time and show them you care while you have them before it's too late.
It's stayed with me. How simple really, but it means so much.
In my job, I see death more than I'd ever care to, so it's taught me some very important lessons about life.
One being, to embrace it. Live to the fullest extent while loving and appreciating those in this life with you. It all goes by too quickly to wait until the end.
As of yesterday, our patient was still was with us. She reached for my hand again and wanted to make sure that I told her boys how much she loved them. They're on their way to see her which will make her heart sing.
Reassuring me that she was ready to go home, she told me how she wanted to be with the Lord. "Being on this Earth for almost 100 years is more than enough," she grinned.
I'm getting ready to go into work now with hopes that she's there. I want her to be able to spend time with her sons before she moves on. They are her pride and joy on this Earth and truly, her most beautiful bouquet of flowers to cherish.