Friday, May 31, 2013

Hand in Hand

15 years ago this week I graduated from high school. It was a day I had dreamed of, hoped for. I was so excited. My grandparents came. My family was all there. They were there to celebrate us. Chara and I.

We entered the world together, we went to school together. In fact, I never went to school alone. From pre-school to my senior year, Chara had been there all along. This wasn’t my graduation, it was ours. Like so much of my life, momentous occasions were shared with her and not by me alone.

I was so proud to have her with me. We marched onto the field and I was content to know that she was right behind me.  

Walking on the field.

I dreamed of the moment that it would be over. I dreamed of us throwing our caps in the air and hugging one another in a joyous embrace; celebrating what we had accomplished, congratulating one another, and simply sharing the moment.

But that’s not what happened. When it was over I turned to her and she wasn’t there. She’d run off to find her stupid boyfriend.

Chara and I went to different colleges. We went to school alone for the first time. I’ll never forget when she called in the fall of 1998. She was crying on the other end, she was saying things to me that she had just realized now that we were apart. I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t realized she didn’t know.

Later she did come to my college and we did graduate together. I do not remember when it was over. I think she was still there. I think I was afraid to look.

Chara got married that December. It was a bittersweet day for me. She joked she was giving me a brother. I feared he was taking my sister. When the ceremony was over and she walked down the aisle, she stepped out of her shoe. Three people passed it. When I walked down the aisle it was still there, waiting for me. I saw it as a gift from God. She did still need me, even if she was married. I picked it up and took it to her. When I found her, I saw him, her husband. He was crying, deep beautiful tears of joy. He loved her, he was blessed, he was happy, he knew she was a treasure. Okay, I thought, you can have her.  And my heart softened.

In time, Chara became pregnant. She said she wanted me there, needed me there. It made me shy, it made me happy, it made me blessed. I saw Jonah’s little body come. I cut the cord. I suppose her momentous occasion were shared with me too.

And she asked me to be there when Caroline came, too. I cut the cord. She looked like a little red raccoon.

I moved East. I’ll never forget when we talked the fall of 2010. This time I was crying and saying things. She didn’t know what to say. Chara just sat there and loved me.

And then Sadie came. Chara waited for me. I cut the cord.

It was the fall of 2012. She called me. Happy Birthday I said. Chara was confused. I was excited. I had signed us up for the 2013 Memorial Half-Marathon. She thought I was crazy, maybe I was.

We got up early. I picked her up at 5:30 and drove downtown. It was cold. They said there were over 24,000 people. I was there with one. We ran, walked, jogged the whole race side by side. We were out of shape. We were laughing and experiencing and living together. It was a great great day.

This time, I wasn’t afraid to dream. I imagined crossing the finish line with her. Hand in hand. And so, as we got closer, I reached over and took her hand. She was there. She hadn’t run off. She didn’t pull away. We crossed the line together, hand in hand; our time was exactly the same.
2013 Memorial Half-Marathon
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
And I know that I am blessed.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

FCCS: Round Two

This past weekend I took FCCS again. I have to retake the class every 4 years to maintain my certification.

There were ACNP students sitting near me talking about classes and clinicals and tests. It was interesting to sit there next to them and hear what they had to say, to hear the exhaustion and stress in their voice.

Funny to be sitting near them at this class. The last time I took this class I was the ACNP student.

Hearing the same information 4 years later with more experience and understanding was good. I learned and appreciated it more. Sometimes I would really like to go back through my MSN program again. Knowing what I know now and hearing it all over again would probably be more beneficial than hearing It the first time I heard it. I would really like that; if I had the time and the money.

I have a phenomenal memory, always have. But you remember things that you know. When you don’t know something, even when you’re told, you don’t always remember or retain it.

In retrospect, I’m not sure that Vanderbilt’s MSN program was in my best interest. It’s a great program for some people. I suppose that school, in some ways, has always been a little hard for me. I’m a ponderer, not a slow thinker, but I need time to understand and retain. I think the speed, intensity and my lack of experience made my time at Vanderbilt even more stressful and I didn’t retain like I would have had the program been different.  I hadn’t understood these things. But hindsight is always 20/20.

FCCS was good. I enjoyed it. I think sometimes I’m too hard on myself.