Can I be honest?
I had an amazing experience last month. It was one of those moments when you are filled with thousands of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness all at the same time. Have you ever felt that before?
The past year has been incredibly busy for my family and I for many reasons, and this is something that I haven’t shared publicly, but in the last year my grandma and grandpa (on my mom’s side) both passed away almost exactly a year apart from each other, one from a stroke and the other from pneumonia complicated by dementia.
This has been hard for the entire family, my mom especially (obviously).
But I want to rewind the clock a bit to my first semester in nursing school, and then we will come back to last month.
My First Semester of Nursing School
During my first semester of nursing school one of my grandpa on my dads side passed away rather quickly. That was in 2011. I’ve talked many times about how difficult that first semester of nursing school was here and here.
Long story short, my wife was 7 months pregnant. We had just moved to Illinois from Texas. We had just pulled out $40,000 in student loans.
My parents were kind enough to pay for a ticket out to the funeral in Arizona. I went to funeral, and it changed everything for me!
I had a sort of epiphany. I realized that in those last minutes of my grandpas life nurses were caring for him. I wanted to feel and know that they were caring for him as deeply as I would.
I realized that I was very literally caring for someones grandpa, mom, daughter . . . loved one. I vowed to myself to care more deeply for each and every patient.
This Last Year
So over the course of the last year, my grandma passed away (stroke) and just 12 months later, my grandpa (pneumonia). I worked as a NEURO ICU nurse before doing NRSNG full-time so during the final moments of my grandmas life I was fielding questions and educating family on the process. She passed away in 2016.
They lived out in Arizona, and I am back in Texas. So again, we were relying on amazing nurses to love and care for my grandparents.
My grandpa began to get more and more sick (with both dementia and other complications). He finally became most bed ridden and developed pneumonia in April 2017. On grandpas last night, two of my uncles were at the bedside with him. We got the text at 1am that he had passed away.
My wife and I, with our children flew out to Arizona for the funeral. After the funeral we had a small lunch with family. My uncle came up to me in tears and told me about the last night with my grandpa in the hospital.
He said the nurse that was taking care of my grandpas was amazing and so caring. Then he shared this story with me:
During the night he mentioned to the nurse that his nephew (me) was also a nurse.
He said, “He has a website for nurses called NRSNG.com.”
The stopped what she was doing and said, “I love NRSNG without NRSNG I would have never made it through nursing school.”
In that moment, I felt like the vow I made to myself back in 2011 to care deeper for my patients had come full circle.
You never know who you will touch as a nurse.
We love each of you and we take the responsibility of helping you along in your journey VERY seriously. Thank you for being a part of the NURSING Family. Some day, it is very likely that ONE of you will care for me, my wife, or one of my children. Thank you in advance!