Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It happens without deliberate thought and it happens every time I dry my hair. I wash my hair every morning and to style my hair I use a blow dryer. I start with my bangs and as the hair dries I turn the side mirrors on the wall cabinet. With a turn of my head to the left I am immediately transported back to the parent’s bathroom on the unit in the hospital where Jason was getting chemo.

It’s not a painful memory just a quick flash of times spent grooming in the tiny bathroom parents were allowed to use for the morning shower to wash off stains of the past 24 hours. A few minutes of quiet time to reflect on the horror of watching children fight cancer; a time to gather thoughts to prepare for morning rounds and the day ahead.

Every parent knew the routine. Pediatric Oncology rounds would happen in the morning and we all wanted our moment with the doctors who we now revered as the healers of our fatally ill children. We always had questions, looking for the words cured and no more treatment required. Our questions were answered but the chemotherapy continued.

The hospital days of chemotherapy are with me every day. I don’t let the memories ruin my day. I try to focus on the present moment and keep pushing forward with errands, the routine of things.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

For many years my mantra has been occupy time with the routine of things. And now I find myself saying, it’s for promises made.

My reasons for moving forward are for promises I made to my father, that I would take care of him as he ages. Dad spent many a day at the hospital or the Cross Cancer Clinic with Jason so I could continue on with my nursing school studies.

My father was close to the age I am now, and probably had other things he would rather do with his time than sit with his grandson at the hospital. Dad would take Jason to many of the appointments and it didn’t take long for the nurses, doctors and other hospital personnel to recognize the grandpa who was very close with both of his grandsons.

Dad was so well known at the Cross Cancer Institute one of the nurses who was involved with the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses asked if my dad would be part of their public awareness campaign on Nurses and Families.

I still have the poster the AARN used for the campaign with a picture of my dad, my son’s and me tucked away somewhere in my possessions. Today it’s hard to write about the chemo days and the role my father played in my sons’ lives. He is sitting beside me as I write this, snoozing in his rocking chair. I look over at him and feel nothing but pride and a deep sense of love.

I will watch over you dad. It’s for promises made.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Today my dad passed away. My heart is broken. Not able to process his passing yet. In shock and denial.

copyright Sheila Ethier 2015

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