DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DEALS WITH ISSUES WHICH MAY CAUSE
SOME PEOPLE TO FEEL SAD OR DISTRESSED.
Good morning and welcome to August's edition of Storytelling Sunday brought to you in association with Sian. If you have been following this meme for 2013, you will know that each month we are encouraged to pick something which is precious to us. This month's item is extremely precious to me and is completely irreplaceable.
Here he is.................
He is a small clown pin, one of those pins you put through your lapel on your coat or jacket. He is smaller than my thumb nail but his meaning is taller than a mountain and stronger than an earthquake. It is whom he represents that is the central tenet.
As many readers know, I was a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse for 12 years in a number of different towns and cities in the UK. Doing that job where you care for very, very sick and premature babies is extremely hard. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the babies and families I had the great privilege to meet, in fact one of those babies is now my goddaughter. However, I would be lying if I told you that all those babies got well and went home, because a small number of them did not.
This pin is a gift from the parents of one little girl I had the honour to nurse for a week several years ago now. She was truly a mini miracle and measured no longer than my hand. I have a photograph they gave me of my hand next to her tiny body. She has her eyes open and is looking intently at the camera. Her parents loved her so deeply and had an immense amount of strength, faith and courage when she died. As her nurses, we were kindly invited to her funeral service and after this her named nurses were given this pin to remember her by.
In all honesty, I can remember every single patient I have nursed who died, don't ask me how or why but I do, right back to 1984 when the first patient I met died one night between me leaving on a late and coming back for the early shift. It was not an easy thing to handle. Sadly I do not remember that patient's name but there are alot of individuals whose names I remember extremely well. In nursing, we are told not to get attached and never to accept gifts, but in such circumstances how do you do that without insulting the people who have thought long and hard about how best to thank those who cared for their loved one? Working on intensive care how do you separate yourself enough to not feel or empathise with the families and patients you care for? This has puzzled me ever since I became a nurse. In all honesty I think that you cannot.
I would love to be able to thank those parents for this gift which I treasure. It has a small paper banner attached which says their baby's name and a remembrance. I could never forget that name even if I tried, and I would like to tell all my readers that if you have ever had someone die then their nurse will probably still remember them and if they are like me, will often think about them and light a candle in their memory or in this case wear the clown with pride.