Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Communion of Endings

Helen, my very last patient (with her permission).

This past twenty-seven years working at my hospital culminated in a single day ... yesterday. It was a day full of last goodbyes, with each moment defined sharply, as if with silver edges.

Although I was a surgical (O.R.) nurse for many years, for the past six years I have worked in the Burn and Wound Care Unit. They have been the most rewarding of my career. Throughout the day, patients, both past and present, dropped by to wish me well. By mid-afternoon the desk was piled high with flowers and gift bags.

At the end of the day, Lois, a colleague who is also a beloved friend, presented me with a wonderful photo album she had compiled of my hospital years. It is a work of art.

The day crowned last evening when fourteen colleagues took me out for a fabulous Thai dinner. The small banquet room hummed in an outpouring of celebration. They had got together and gifted me with a wonderful series of framed photographs of this city; a precious reminder of my thirty years living here. Yesterday, I felt that my dreams and hopes were a part of all those around me. I am overwhelmed, and beyond grateful. I am also deeply humbled by the generosity and kindness.

Life is best when it is centred around a hearth of communion. I am thankful that I am a part of this vast belonging. I feel so blessed and loved, my whole body and heart dances today.

How amazing it is to be permitted to gather the given.


  1. I love the notion of a "hearth of communion". It is all about belonging, isn't it? My dear aunt always signs her notes to me "with love and belonging". It is something to be cherished.

  2. I also subscribe to the 'hearth of communion' idea. To feel a part of something, to have a healthy level of investment in something worthwhile, is quite wonderful. Enjoy, you deserve it.

  3. I know you will be sorely missed, but you will move on to do something really worthwhile and engaging.