Through windows and doors

Door opening with butterfly border

Through the window right now, I am watching my mother fight the ravaging destruction of colorectal cancer. I see a mother who is fighting to beat the odds, not allowing the cancer to get the better of her. She has an idea of the road she will have to travel but is doing the best she can not to let it get the better of her. Mom will not let this put her to bed until she says so. I think mom can sense the end is not too far away but while she is still able to get out of bed each day and help herself to breakfast and lunch, that is what she will do and I will not stand in her way. I will help her to live her life with independence and dignity for as long as it is possible. I will not deprive her of that for as long as I am able to.

Through the window right now, I see a road of uncertainty for me. I do not know how long the road will be. I do not know how many twists and turns there will be in the road. I do not know how many obstacles or challenges I am going to face along this road, but it is a road I am on right now. A road paved with hope and trust in God because He is the only one who knows where this road is going to lead. I have been placed on this road which I need to follow, not knowing where it is going to lead.

The door through which I had to travel in September 2013, was a door which lead me to being primary caregiver to my mom after her Colonstomy. I have had a taste of what nursing and caregiving is all about. I come from a family where we don’t believe in fate/chance. We believe that everything happens for a reason. I now joke about the fact that I’m living up to my namesake . . . you see, when I was baptised as a baby, the second name I was given was Florence (so my joke about living up to my namesake refers to Florence Nightingale).

Although my mom was reluctant to name me Florence (after my paternal grandmother), she gave it to me anyway (mom only wanted me to have one name), not knowing that I was going to end up nursing her in the end. How ironic is that? Again, we don’t believe in fate/chance. God had a plan for me when He convinced my mom to give me a second name i.e. Florence.

I have learnt a lot about nursing and care-giving since September 2013 but I still have so much to learn. It really takes a special kind of person to do this type of work for eight to twelve hours per day 365 days a year. We really do take our nursing staff so for granted when we are hospitalised.

Once mom leaves us to her eternal resting place, I will have to enter another door. Another door of uncertainty as to where it will lead. I will take some time out to grieve, rest and do some soul searching to try to make sense of the next chapter of my life. How it will all end, I don’t know at this stage. All I know is that I have to take one step at a time, one day at a time and all will become clear as I travel along that road.

Through my window right now . . .

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