Fast-Forward into February and Beyond

1 Feb

It’s hard to believe it’s already February.  I remember when it seemed time dragged; it couldn’t pass quickly enough for me.  I was always ½ or almost, 12 ½, almost 13, and although I don’t look forward to birthdays the way I did when I was younger, my anticipation for moving forward hasn’t changed.  I recently turned 64, but in my mind, I knew the 64th year I’d spent on this good earth was ending, and the 65th, beginning.  I have hundreds of ideas and goals scribbled on Post-It notes, scrawled across pieces of paper towels and old napkins, cataloged in index cards, and recorded in dozens of journals strewn like weeds across this small desk.

I try to forget clocks and calendars, pushing every moment to its limit, drawing it out, savoring it like a decadent dessert. I’m successful most of the time, well, not really, probably just half. But I’m better at it at 64, than I was at 25.

This morning I was forced to look at the calendar, trying to make sure I hadn’t missed another doctor’s appointment.  That’s when I realized it was time to turn another page, flip into a new month.  February.  I wrote a poem about February ten years ago; it was dark work, a lot of my work is.  I used to think I should have gone in to some sort of forensics, a profession that would satisfy my curiosity about what lies beneath the obvious; but that was before nursing chose me.

It was never my intention to work pediatrics, but as fate would have it, that was where I was needed.  I like to say I started at the beginning and went all the way to the end, from pediatrics to hospice.  It was a challenging and rewarding ride.  Had I begun in hospice, I would have been ill prepared for all that’s required in caring for the dying, even though I was familiar with death.  But it was as simple and complex, (simultaneously), as everything else in life; one minute you’re walking in a straight line, the next, there is a junction, and you have to decide which path to follow. Choosing hospice was a highway full of race cars and slow moving carts, each with a beautiful, beautiful face and a story that would break the most resilient heart.

Like pediatrics, hospice chose me.  It was a match I didn’t see coming, beginning with a series of synchronistic events and half a dozen or so seemingly coincidental exchanges.  Within four months of working with my first hospice nurse, I had a patient load of my own, racing back and forth through two counties, meeting incredible families and unforgettable people well on their way to the next level of existence.  These people were moving forward, and as they did, dealing with the realities of leaving their commitment to this world behind, with grace and tenacity I will always admire.

When I was 23, I was involved in a terrible car accident that resulted in a near death experience as my body lay on a hospital gurney and I watched from the ceiling as a code team worked to revive my motionless heart.  I wasn’t alone up there, among the ceiling tiles, there was another presence who reassured me I was ‘alright” and led me to the gapping black mouth of a long, black tunnel.  I stepped into that highway too and was swept away past all I’d known, leaving my connections to the good earth behind.  But as fate would have it, it wasn’t my time and I left that incredible light, waking hours later in pain in ICU.

I know there is something we all will share; something I cannot even describe although through the years, I have tried many times.  I was lucky to get a glimpse of forward motion in a prelude to what lies beneath the surface of the obvious, but I was much luckier to get an opportunity to return home to my family.  I’ve had the pleasure of watching my children grow into strong women, and now I am watching their children grow.

Every day we move forward whether we acknowledge it or not.  Every day moves us closer to what we need to see before moving even further along.  The next time you find yourself standing at a junction, remember that no matter which direction you choose, it will eventually lead you where you need to go.

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4 Responses to “Fast-Forward into February and Beyond”

  1. causeinnovators February 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Amazing… read… Beverly Scheidt.. to think that in 1967… I was a grand 14 years old… the summer of sixty-seven was a glorious summer of love… The Doors… Light My Fire… and of course… The Beatles… and Sgt. Peppers… I recall hearing constantly on the radio… everywhere… at the beach… the tape players were playing Lovely Rita Meter Maid… and I became so familiar with every word of every song… especially When I’m Sixty-Four… thinking that sounds like fun and since my parents weren’t even close to that age at that time it seemed almost like a surreal myth… for us… imagine… when I get older losing my hair… many years from now… would you still be sending me a valentine… birthday greeting… bottle of wine… but who… would be doing that… me… you… and with whom… who knew… hair… well in 1967 there was plenty of that… now some 46 years later… far less… and now when I hear this song… time… could have just been standing still… http://youtu.be/RWGIxK3iPv4

  2. Gypsy February 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I’ve also had an out-of body, afterlife-pre-death experience. It was great. I saw silver filaments coming from all light sources, that was a method of travel for souls. My extreme pain was listed, and I was on no drugs. When I begged not to die yet, my wish was granted and I returned to my body and immediate pain and nausea. The farther I grow away from the experience, the less I remember. For a time I was privy to all knowledge and understanding, but I don’t remember any specifics any more. I just remember that the soul could travel on the impetus of thought along light waves, and go anyplace just by thinking it. I’m sure there is a medical explanation for what happened that can dismiss everything, but For me it was very real. Also , on of my friends that passed recently semed to visit me in the early morning dream-awake stae. It wa sgreat, and she said that I would not believe it, and she would try to prove it by passing through me. It was an indescribable feeling of being intensely alive. She was my writing mentor. She told me to write a book about religion, exposing how far from the truth the accepted religions are. I haven’t done it, buy for some reason, she thought I could do it.
    .

    • ittymac February 4, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Write the book,Gypsy.

  3. theempathyqueen February 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    You are an exquisite writer. I am fascinated and flattered that you have read my posts. Thank you, it means so much.

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