Everything Happens For A Reason

I often use the phrase that there is a place for everything and everyone in our life. Through work, I was fortunate enough to meet the sweetest lady. This lady was the definition of resilience and hope. She was diagnosed with end stage breast cancer, and told she had 1-3 weeks left to live.

Like most people I am found of a good tear jerking story about the life and struggles of the terminally ill, but reading and watching these stories are nothing in comparison to living through the experience. This lady was in her mid nineties, married for seventy years to the same man that helped her to bed every night, and had a happy life. It is the same story told repeatedly time after time.

Well this lady did not live only 1-3 weeks, but stayed with all of us for 6 months, and I learned more about life and death within these six moths than a young millennial will ever need to learn.  Everyday I watched this woman die a little more, suffer a little more, hold on to every form of life she could.

Everyday she would tell me how she lived a good life, and God gave her an amazing life therefore she will never question why she was terminally ill. She told me that life is too short to be mad at people, to misunderstand people, too hold onto feelings and emotions. She told me every night to chase my dreams because no one will ever do it for me. Each time I talked to her, I knew she was placed into my life for a reason. She was there to save me from myself. To be the constant reminder that I do not only make a difference in her life, but I also touch so many people directly and indirectly daily without ever realizing. That a kind word or a gentle hand squeeze makes a world of a difference to people.

One day about four months before her death, I sat on her floor holding her hands. She asked about the expectation leading up to death. I carefully explained the process, and gave her my input. She cried. I cried. We both held each other knowing that we would be parting soon. That night I promised her that I would be there through the process. I would hug her and kiss her cheek. Hold her hand. I would tell her each night regardless of her state of mind to “sleep like a baby” like I have done every night up to this point. Sadly I was only able to give her six months of wishing her to sleep like a baby.

About a week ago this wonderful lady decided that she was ready. She was tired of pretending that every day was a normal day. She was done defying time and her illness.  She was done living only to keep her husband’s heart from breaking. She was tired of living through pain and discomfort and only enjoying life minimally. She stopped eating and drinking on her own accord, and requested comfort medications to remain pain free.  Than came the night she was barely responsive. As I administered her comfort medications, her daughter informed me that she has not spoken or responded to much for the past six hours. I bent over her kissed her forehead, squeezed her hand, and whispered in her ear “sleep like a baby”. She gently pressed her fingers against mine, and weakly replied “I’m going to miss you telling me that every night. I love you”.

Her spirit and soul left earth the following afternoon.

I learned  the inevitability of life is death, but why fear death when there is a life to live. If you worry too much about what’s ahead, you will never be able to enjoy what is in front of you right now. Life does not need to be perfect to be a good life, you only have to enjoy it. I cannot thank this wonderful woman for everything she taught me. I may stray away from my purpose in life at times, but I never will take life for granted anymore. She has taught so many things that would take at least six months to explain, but the most important lesson was that people and things are placed in our lives for a reason.  This lady and I was placed together for so many reasons. She told me everyday that I taught her so much about empathy and compassion that has no limits, about the normalcy of death, and that sometimes placing a fake smile is easier than explaining every bad moment. She taught me about life, sharing it with people, to never question fate, to stop and smell the roses, eat the chocolate, and to love without condition. I taught her about death and masking emotions, she taught me about life and being content with the cards dealt.  I will carry her story and a little piece of her with me no matter where life takes me. My life is forever changed.

 

Advertisements

Life is like a box of chocolate

When I was younger, I watched the movie Forrest Gump. Like most people, the line the grabbed my attention was “my mama always said, Life is like a box of chocolate you never know what you are going to get”. Until recently, I did not agree with Mrs. Gump,  I believed that we could carve our destiny and future through hard work and dedication to our dreams.  Although I still believe in the ideals of setting your own path and that you are in control of your dreams, life has a way of carving a path you would never imagine for yourself.  Lately I have been dead focused on my career and success that I have imagined for myself. I have this high standard that I believe I must obtain to be successful and happy.  I have to lose so much weight, eat healthy, have a good career, make my parents proud, and so forth. Within all these goals to success, I forgot that these things will not truly contribute to my happiness. Being skinny with a great career will not keep me warm at night. Having a perfect life with the absences of laughing and people to share everything with is not true happiness.

True happiness comes from within. It is accepting our limitations while still pushing to be the best version of ourselves. It is finding someone who enjoys our imperfections and will eat pizza on a Friday night instead of someone who wants a perfect body.

Jerome Cole stated it best in the video below: minutes 10-11:30 and the end 22 till the end

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/jcole-j-cole-interview-with-tavis-smiley-new-video.33108.html

I cannot tell you what life has in store for me each day. Life is truly like a box of chocolate. I never know what I am going to get day to day but at least I know it will be sweet, and at least I can look forward to a little bit of chocolate.

 

KP

New Year, New Me!

Over the past year, I took a back seat to writing and social media overall.  With the new year, I decided it is time to make big changes in my life.  I am ready to start a new journey and a new path including returning to social media.

Within the past two months, I have made some major changes in my life. I have changed jobs, I have moved, and recently began my journey on becoming a better healthier me. This journey is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Starting slightly after the new year, I began a fitness journey and new living arrangements that included my younger brother.  Although we bicker and fight about everything, we have been a constant motivation to one another. Over the next few days and months you will hear more about my journey, and random adventures that My younger brother and I embark on.

Please enjoy a few laughs on the way, and enjoy our videos!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI7OzL24dnSb3AXg104FXDQ

Sincerely,

Kate

 

Living through a terrible Job.

I believe that everything has a purpose.  Each day, each struggle, and each joyous moment serves a purpose.  I am a person that has been taught that hard work is the key to success.  I have consistently  been employed since the age of thirteen.  My employment history has ranged from jobs such as babysitting, tutoring, and a paper route.  When I turned sixteen, I finally applied for my first real job.  To be honest my first job was practically handed to me because my mom was employed for the same company.  I started to work at a personal care facility in the dietary department.  Throughout my high school and college career, I have been working for the same company.

As time passed I have changed positions and have grown through the company.  I have advanced and have become a crucial role within the company.  To be frank, I have grown to hate my job and the drama that accompanies it.  It takes every fiber of my being to get myself to work each day.

Within the past few months, I have finally found the purpose behind the job that I loathe walking into every day.  As the days get longer and each day becomes more of a struggle due to the constant change in staff, I slowly began to find out what I want to do in my life.

In a personal care facility I work on average with eighty to ninety-five residents each day.  Within this time period, I am responsible for another person’s life.  I affect how they view the world.  I step outside of my everyday life and persona and enter into someone else’s world.  It is an experience that can never be put into worlds.  Modern society and world issues are no longer within importance, but traditional values and racism is still fully blown and active. You become intertwined into their past lives, but also their interpretation of the changing world.  You become their family.  It becomes more than can be described on paper.

Aside from being able to escape the world as I know it, my job has taught me so much more.  My job has told me that I never want to me in nursing.  The complex nature of watching people die day in and day out does not appeal to me at all.  With that said I have learned that I love working with people.  I love human interaction and taking care of people.  I have met amazing people who range from war heroes, children authors, CEOs, business owners, human rights activists, and so many more.  I have learned that I am able to accommodate a wide variety of personalities.  I also learned that I want to be able to organize and manage companies and affairs.  My strength is not bossing people around, but simply to manage people and business affairs, and keeping things running smoothly.

I have simply learned that each job does not always turn into a career, but each job will teach you a lesson about life and what your purpose in life maybe.  Each opportunity regardless if it may be at McDonald’s or Wal-mart can teach a person more than sitting at home waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall into your lap.  It does not matter if you learn the lesson that you should never be responsible for feeding a large group of people, there was a lesson to learn.  Each job you possess is one step closer to finding the perfect career.  Each small job that has no relevance to your career teaches small skills such as customer service, dealing with cranky clients, and so much more.

As I write after a long 12 hour shift, I remember my purpose each day is to work with my amazing residents.  My purpose each day is to become a stronger and well-rounded individual through labor intensive work.  Although this could never be my end all be all career, I am learning and growing each day to become the person that I want to be.  Down the road I will be able to take away so many amazing stories and opportunities that have been able to accomplish.

My American Dream

While growing up in America, we are told as young children that we can become whatever we strive to be. The American dream could lead us to places bigger and better than we could ever imagine. As a young child, we are asked on a daily basis: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Like most children, my answer changed frequently. When I was four, I was convinced that I wanted to be a doctor. This is common for a young pre-school student. As I got older, I did not deviate too much, but I knew I wanted to work with children. As time passed, becoming a teacher became a clear choice. This was more of a pipedream. I finally defined my future career in fifth grade. We had to research a future career, and one of my friend’s choice to be a lawyer, due to limited research material two students could not be that same career, I settled with researching a paralegal. For about two months I was convinced that I was going to be a paralegal until my grandmother stated “you are too smart and will make very little money, you should just become a lawyer”. I am unsure if this was my idea or someone else’s but I focused all of my energy and scheduled all of my classes in the hopes of becoming an attorney. It affected the extra-curricular classes I took in high school, the perfect grades that I focused my efforts on, and eventually the colleges I applied to.

As I was accepted to college, I know that I was going on a pre-law track when a concerned High school teacher gave the advice of majoring in a subject that I would peak my interest because I could apply to Law school with any type of degree. To make a long story short, I entered college with a History major and soon would become a double major in political science. Now that I am a senior in college and it has become closer to the time of graduation, I realize that my dreams were not originally my own but had become my own. They became my entire focus and consumed my life. I do not regret focusing my efforts on a dream that was not my own, but have simply redefined my life.

To this day people still ask me difficult question about my future and what I will become. The conversations usually starts out along the lines: “what are you studying in college, What are you going to do with that?, and What do you want to pursue that career?”. All of these questions are quite intimidating and I usually give the short explanation about becoming a corporate attorney with a focus on international trade agreements, which usually leads to many more questions. This has become my rehearsed and coup out answer. As time passed, I have finally found out what I want to do with my future.

The truth boils down to the fact, my American dream is to be remembered. It is a simple life goal that has more implications than could ever be imagined. I want to be someone that is written down in history and is known for the things I have said, the difference I have made, and the life that I have lived. Someone to remember years down the road for something remarkable. As conceited as this may sound, it stems from the notion that one day everyone gets buried in a grave and forgotten about.  Within their graves are their hopes, dreams, admirations, and unwritten past to no longer be told.  I simply want to be remembered rather than a person who has been forgotten about or another number or statistic in the United States Census. The fact the I will never be the president or someone crazy famous has made me realize many people will never remember me or my legacy, but what is clear is that the people I impact the most on a daily basis will pass way before me or have already passed.

This has been a reality that has constantly been on my mind until early this week. Early this week as I am working at my seasonal job in a personal care home taking care of the elderly, I was dressing one of my residents for the morning, as I am dressing her on the television was the annual Christmas eve parade from the day before. As the parade is going each float has a performance or a group of singers. Than a group begins to sing “My girl” by the temptation. My resident tells me how much she likes the song and ask if we could sit down for a second and listen. Ironically this song was my grandfather’s favorite song. To this day this song brings back so many memories and reminds me of the man he was. The caring individual that was nowhere near perfect but someone that was a comic relief within our family. Someone that was cared for deeply and impacted my life more than anyone could ever realize. He inspired some of my greatest poetry and some of passions that I had in life. This moment made me realize that we are all remembered by those that we choice to spend the journey of life with. My legacy is not simply my future, but also my past. It is not the fact that I may become an amazing philanthropic attorney or whatever the future may hold. It lies in the fact that I hold memories of thousands of people that I have been in direct contact with. The hundreds of resident’s that have told me their story and their past life while I have taken care of them over the past four and half years. All of us will be remembered and everyday is a chance to have another person to remember you in the way you have impacted their life. I have learned another great lesson on life. Treat everyone with respect, dignity, and make a lasting memory because this will become someone else’s memory. You are making that impact on someone and you will be remembered.  My American Dream rest upon those I make memories with and interact with.  My will be remembered even if it may only be by one person.

17 Signs You Work in the Health Field (Especially with the Elderly)

untitled

Working with the elderly is Health Care is not always the easiest jobs, but it can be quite rewarding. It takes a certain type of person (you know that weird person that sits and talks to your grandma on a regular basis) to do this type of job. Almost everyone in the field has similar struggles, but here are sixteen signs that are relatable to all people who work within this field.

1. The perpetual smell of old people.

Old people smell comes in a number of different varieties; it is the old lady perfume, aftershave. Vic’s vapor rub, Aspercreame, or the common old people smell it never seems to leave your pores.

2. Calling baby diapers Briefs

You are brainwashed to the fact that telling an old person that you are putting a diaper on them is so detrimental to their wellbeing that when you actually have to change a baby you say “will you pass me that brief”. Let’s face it; diaper is no longer in your vocabulary.

3. Nicknames such as: cupcake, honey bun, sweetheart, and babe

These names are common grounds between both the staff and residents because either you are calling your 90+ residents this because you never want to say the wrong name or you are in fact one of these pet names because old folks mind is not as sharp as it used to be. In my case no offense you do not want to be called cupcake, it means you have become an old ladies slave.

4. Only time it is appropriate to wear cartoon clothing in public no matter how old you are.

Yes, I like Scooby doo, Spongebob, and Winnie the Pooh. So yes I will buy and wear scrubs to work. I don’t care if my residents know who they are. They are just so cute! Yes most of us are guilty of this.

5. When 65-70 years old is considered young

Your concept of young completely changes. Fifty is no longer old, but in fact it is quite young. Hey half your nursing staff is probably fifty are close to fifty, and your residents are probably almost 100!

6. Getting paid to be insulted and assaulted

Yes I probably get called out of my name about twenty times a day, and it is never a surprise to get hit, punched, kicked, and (in my case) a cup of cold water thrown in your face.

7. Bland unseasoned food

Between the no spicy food and no salt diets all the food taste like is a bunch of mashed soft particles no matter what it is! “You know we are having spaghetti for lunch or more like really soft noodles with flavorless tomato sauce sounds more like it.”

8. When you have the same conversation everyday with the same person.

Yea my name is Kate and I am… let’s just say there is tons of repetition and most to all will not remember who you are tomorrow.

9. There is no off time because your job never closes

This is a 24/7 job and you will never forget that but hey holiday pay is kind of nice! I mean you come to expect those calls at three in the morning asking if you could make it to work early.

10. Poop is forever known as BM

Enough Said. No need to explain that one!

11. Speaking of BM you probably are comfortable discussing BM

No matter if it is talking about how often you may go, or how big one of your residents was that today. We love to talk about poop. It makes our world go round.

12. It is normal that within an 8 hour period you probably have urine, BM, or blood (that is rarely your own) on your scrubs and it is acceptable.

And yes I have had days where I have come home with all three. Believe me showers become your best friend. You can never shower enough.

13. If you are under the age of 35 you are considered a Baby still.

No matter how long you have been in the field you will be always considered a baby in the eyes of your residents, and if you are not a baby. The scary alternative is that you are considered one of them! Yea I like being a baby.

14. You have probably seen more balls, tits, and vaginas than any human should ever see!

Hey at least you will never be surprised in any awkward situation because sadly you have already seen everything before. Ranging from big to small. Circumcised to uncircumcised.

15. No matter how much you make it is never enough!

I mean let’s be real, you are taking another human beings life in your hands, but you make less than the people at Lowes. It defiantly sucks and the pay is not always worth the crap but at the end of the day you are not there for just a pay check (although getting paid is nice!). You are there because you care, or you are the type of person that can handle the environment.

16. Overtime is to almost always to be expected

Regardless if you want the time and half or not you will probably get stuck picking up others shifts “Yea Patty found out this is not the field for her, so who wants to pick up some shifts?”

17. Your residents and coworkers become like family

This is probably one of my favorite. Each part of the team that I work with is like members of my own family. We cry together, we laugh together, and we struggle together. Some of these people will attend your wedding and share your every day joys. I think I call a large portion of my residents’ grandma or pops. They simply help make the job worth it and your day faster. It is simply part of the job, and is the reason everyone stays at a job that sometimes does not seem worth it. These people count on your vital role in making the team operate.