Friday, July 24, 2009

my summer adventures so far...

So JUly has been a month of accomplishing things I've always wanted to try, reconnecting with family and making new friends. I've spent nearly everyday hanging out or talking with Jennica (my twin sister). It seems now that we are practically neighbors and both have July off we are talking on our adventures together! I also went to vancouver folk fest and met a bunch of people, had some beers with them on west 4th on friday night after the first evening concerts were done. The next day I ran into them (minus 3 people) and we spent the rest of the day listening to Dan Mangan, Great Lake Swimmers, the Proclaimers, and Steven Page. So much fun! The next day it was just Russ and me and we had fun going from stage to stage (there were 7 stages). We really hit it off and after the festival ended we made plans to meet on thursday (last night).

MOnday I took a ferry over to the Sunshine coast with a few friends from chilliwack and we went kayaking all day then had dinner at one of the girl's mom's house. Next we had some wine and cheese and went in a hot tub in the woods at our bed and breakfast. We had a good sleep and ate a pancake breakfast before going on hike to see a beutiful view of the ocean from above. Wednesday night I biked to the fireworks to Vanier park to watch with jennnica and jamie's friends. The highlight for me was the actual fireworks and beating all the pedestrians and cars on our bicycles and making great time! On my date with Russ we went on a nice date to Granville island Theater sports (another event I always wanted to see). Then we had a late dinner on the docks overlooking the boats at "Bridges" it's situated between burrard and granville bridges on grandville island.

The adventures continue as I am headed to MIssion Folk fest today with my roomates and Russ might meet up with me tonight to catch the shows. Me, Jennica and my younger sister who's coming out on monday to visit us are doing dinner and a movie! it will be nice to have the 3 sisters together again!

Next on the list is going to the island with jennica hoping to meet up with our friend amy to go to Tofino! Camp there for a night or 2, then spend some time with amy and her family and head to Thetis Island for camp! I will be the camp nurse and amy's family will be running the camp for the week for 12-14 year olds at a camp called pioneer pacific.

sorry no pics as I have no camera now (haven't for a couple months now, I lost it).

bye all- leave comments about your summer adventures!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For those who are gone, and still here...

This poem is dedicated to all the palliative nurses I worked with in Chilliwack who can all say they’ve been through this situation before. Also to the families as they watch their loved ones die. I hope the transition was somewhat eased as one of us experienced these moments with you.

“I can smell the death on the sheets covering me. This is the end…” Relient K

‘How much longer does she have?’
How do I begin to answer the question you couldn’t bear to ask?
I’ve lost track how many countless times I’ve been asked this question.
Sometimes I feel like the grim reaper, or rather the bearer of such devastating news.
In the end I say it could be minutes, hours, even days or weeks.
The longer the dying process the heavier the load is on your shoulders.
You spend all your waking hours, tired eyes slumped shoulders, weary spirit
being with the one you love, you did love or that you never loved at all.
Maybe you feel guilty for never being there all those years and
being with her right now is your salvation.
Perhaps you selfishly want her to be in this dying/alive state as you process how saying goodbye is going to be.
I give the last shot of her Morphine, reposition her emaciated, sunken, skeleton-like body in bed.
As the final breath is taken I sit with you as I lay my stethoscope on her chest.
After a minute I look up and nod in confirmation with you as our eyes meet.
I acknowledge she is gone as I watch the tears stream down your cheeks.
In these moments I imagine if this was my mother lying there, how would I be taking it?
I barely know you yet here we are in the same room holding this moment together in
the intimate space of the hospital room full of the smell of antiseptics, perspiration, urine, feces and bleached linens.
I leave the room to let you grieve, as you know how.
Everyone is different, and some goodbyes take hours, some minutes.
All I can offer you is my hand on your shoulder, a hug, my condolence, and maybe a box of Kleenex.
I can’t tell you how you should feel.
Every-time this happens I shed tears for each one that dies, even the ones I barely knew,
But when I see your tear-streamed grief-stricken face it causes my eyes to well up
And my heart to ache just a little more as one more soul leaves this world.
People wonder how I can do this job,
but I feel so fortunate to be there standing with people in their darkest, bleakest moments.
Not to be there to tell them it’s going to be okay
Rather to stand with them, beside them and just let them be.
How much longer till I can do this again?
Right now there’s no other place I’d rather be.

Friday, July 3, 2009

in a new city now!

Vancouver: I have arrived! Thursday I drove the half-tonne Budget truck from Vancouver to Chilliwack, packing it up then driving back to Van. I had my faithful helpers on both sides.

Rewind for a moment: I spend a wonderful day on Canada day celebrating in, of all places, Vancouver! I did some bus hopping and walking to Granville island with Meliss, then we went to a back yard bbq fundraiser for an arts magazine starting in September. Every singe guy I talked to (and I talked to at least 7 of them) were gay. I had the best conversations and everyone was so friendly and approachable. I told people I was going to be moving to Vancouver and I look forward to seeing many of these people again at future events. I told one guy I might even check out his boyfriend's drag queen show in October!

So now here I am, boxes unpacked, pictures to be hung on the wall. I spent today on my bicycle with jennica biking to kits beach so much fun that I live so close to such amazing people: tonight I get to see my 3 brothers (jamie included), my friends hil and adrian, and jennica!