All in a life’s Daily Inspiration Challenge
Life’s daily inspiration is a mouth full wouldn’t you say?
So here we are again talking about life’s daily inspiration and what the heck does that mean?
Well let us give you an update on who we are with the intention of inspiring you and many others with our hospice journey and every day life’s inspirational moments.
We are Elaine and Scarlett. We have been best friends for years.
We have been in the medical field for over 30 years. Our passion has been caring for Hospice patients’.
Is it hard?Of course! Do we get attached to patients’ and or the family members? Yes, honestly at times we do.
In medical training, we are taught not to get attached and to have those personal boundaries. Boundaries have their place and purpose, we get it, we respect it, however we are human after all.
I mean think about it. We are in their homes, their surroundings, their pictures, and their everyday life. We meet the kids, grandkids, neighbors, pastor, in-laws and yes even the outlaws.lol
We are there when they decorate for holidays and even at times will have coffee or tea with them.
We listen to their favorite stories, memories, and we can even recite some of them ourselves because we have heard them so many times.
Scarlett and I have taken care of many, many patients’ family members thru the years, .First the wife, then the husband or vice Versa, to the uncles and aunts etc. The trust has always been there.
What a compliment, to be trusted and to have the opportunity to walk with them.
Scarlett and I consider this to be sacred.
To say they give us inspiration is an understatement. We are blessed and inspired by them every time we walk in their home.
Every home and every family presents different examples of their unique inspiration.
We had a patient, we will call Bill for privacy reasons. Now, mind you I / Elaine was very green, a newbie if you will to the medical field and first out of school seeing patients’.
Bill had retired 5 years ago from the Post Office after working 40 years as a mail carrier.
We learned later that he loved to say “ I always deliver”
Upon our initial visit with Bill, he proudly stated” I would like to introduce you to my 2, yes 2 wives with a huge grin on his face.
He pointed to a very curvy beautiful blonde. She introduced her self as Wife # 1 aka Shelia.
Shelia then introduced us to wife #2 aka Maria.
She too was beautiful. Interestingly how opposite the wives were? Maria was a tall willowy woman with long straight auburn hair.
Shelia was very outgoing and appeared to me that she would be the one that would be called the life of the party.
Maria to me came across almost timid and fragile.
Boy, let me tell ya, I was so incorrect. So incorrect.
Do not judge a book by its cover.
Scarlett, of course, being Scarlett had their personalities correctly figured out.
We will give you the juice on that later.
Oh, he was handsome with his clean-shaven face, silver hair, olive colored skin, wearing a blue robe just made his bright blue eyes pop and shine. And he knew it.
He proudly stated “ my wife number got me cleaned, shaven and dressed this morning so I could meet my death team”
Well ok then, I was thinking to myself on the inside.
I was not certain how to reply nor could I pull up in my memory bank ever discussing this type of scenario in school.
Before that long awkward moment occurred, where it’s quite and ya really don’t have a clue of an appropriate reply, about 15 friends came in and the conversation shifted.
I was glad the conversation shifted but on the other hand, I wanted to explore his comment regarding the death team AND how do we have the two wives? But how do ya revisit these topics?
Again I was very green so was Scarlett but I was the greenest. We never brought up the 2 wife’s arrangement again but we did revisit the death team comment.
Thirty plus years later we know we would have addressed both topics with a mature, respectful, and professional manner. As we would have been able to utilize our skill sets they we have learned thru the years.
When we asked Bill about what “ the death team meant to him he sweetly described it this way.
“ Oh, sweetheart I say that to kinda break the ice for all of us and more importantly it’s my way of preparing my wife’s for my demise. Just a friendly, gentle nudge of what’s really going on “
As months went by as Scarlett and I would care for Bill, we saw how well Bill and his wife are so lovingly cared and respected one another.
Bill explained how blessed a life he had, wonderful vacations, nice cars, and great health all these years until 6 months ago it all changed when he was diagnosed with Cancer.
He chose to not begin chemo and radiation but to be with “ his girls”
Of all the wonderful things in his life, “ he treasured Shelia and Maria for their love, compassion and most of all forgiveness”
One day Scarlett and I were having coffee with Bill and he started laughing, this was 2 weeks before he passed.
He said “ you two have been coming in our home for 8 months and you guys have never put us on the spot and asked about our husband/wife arrangement.
Oh, you guided us with wonderful education and funeral arrangements ever so gently but respected us and our choices without judgment.
You did not disrespect us and we appreciated it but Damn y’alls expressions when I introduced y’all to my wife’s was priceless. I mean damn.
Yall were saved by the bell when our friends interrupted, oh it was comical. I have really enjoyed how awkward that was for y’all, sorry but true.”
Shelia and Maria both said at the same time “ it’s time to tell them how we three became best friends and where our titles came from.”
Are you sitting down?
Well, Bill took it from there with tears in his not so bright blue eyes.
You see said Bill In a weakened voice, “ I want to share how awesome these two women are thru Prayer and their willingness to forgive, we were all able to heal.
I married Maria and after 20 wonderful years, I had an affair with Shelia. Shelia was only 18. Yes legally speaking she was an adult but she was just a child. I was the adult, I knew what I was doing and I knew it was wrong; enough said.
I was prepared to stop the affair and come clean with Maria. She deserved to know and I deserved to be kicked to the curb. Shelia also deserved someone decent in her young life and clearly, it was not me.
I called Shelia to tell her we needed to talk but it went to her voicemail and as bad as a person as I was I could not end the relationship via voicemail.
So I went home to come clean with Maria.
I didn’t see Maria’s car in the driveway so I decided to call Shelia back again and attempt to get this over with.
As I am walking in my living room calling Shelia I hear Sheila’s cell ringing, and then I literally see her cell lying on the kitchen table.
There are no words to describe how I felt. None!
The reason Shelia did not answer my call the first time was that she was at the doctor’s office to confirm that she was pregnant with my child.
She came to our house to tell Maria herself.
It was extreme courage for Shelia to deliver the news to Maria.
Courage did not stop there. It was only the beginning by a long shot.
Shelia came from an abusive home and when they found out she was with child they threw her out and disowned her literally.
I will cut to the chase! The short version of events.
Maria threw me to the curb, no blame for that at all, and then the unbelievable -she brought Shelia into our home. She took her to every MD appt and was present when she delivered my son.
Maria and I did get divorced, and then I married Shelia when our son was 3 years old. Then we divorced when he was 6 years old.
Maria and Shelia are best friends and they and our son remained in the family home.
When I became ill, both Shelia and Maria invited me back to the family home where they can care for me and allow me to pass here with my not so traditional family, but completely my family where the four of us remain.
Maria and Shelia both smiled and said to him in unison” to death do us part”
What strength and ability to forgive and pull together. We will never forget this family. I mistook
Maria’s willowy quite personality’as being timid.
Boy, was I wrong!
Scarlett and I hope this family has inspired you or challenged you in some kinda way.
We would really appreciate if you would share how this story or another story has inspired or challenged you!
Thank you in advance and then some,
Elaine and Scarlett