Friday, November 25, 2011

The Civil War

 I am not one to trust easily. Nor have I ever been one to consider the willing and open surrender of your heart to another human being an easy task. At least not fully anyways. Sure I have friends and family that know me. I have best friends and people that have walked through the mud with me. People who know parts of me that are not so glorious... parts that aren't pretty. I think it's safe to say that there are a few... a select few... who truly see me... in ways that I probably don't fully know. Time will do that to you.... spend enough time walking through life with someone and you will inevitably see them in all types of moments. Good and bad.

If you stick around long enough and if people are genuine a bond is formed, a sort of intimacy. I think I always knew it.... actually, I am sure of it... that despite the incredible amounts of wonderful people in my life... people who have true depth to them... people who know me and who have history with me... despite the circle of friends and family around me... there was a sort of lacking that I did not quite understand.

Maybe it was the lack of family because surely it was not the lack of friends. When I made the decision to join my life with Chris I did not expect that it would be in this way. I don't think I ever could understand what it truly meant to trust someone in a way that required so much of myself. Mainly because I never could. I have spent so much of my life... if not all of it... building up walls and barricades... a fortress... a safe place to hide behind. It was easier that way. Painful maybe... but safe at least. Because true intimacy requires trust... it requires vulnerability... a risk of being damaged... again.... and again.

It means believing the best in that person more often than you're inclined to. It means admitting that you are not perfect... and that whether you want it to be true or not...  that you need the other person and that your life is so much better with them in it.  In these past months I have struggled with that... an internal war of sorts.

A civil war with the woman I once was and the woman I am still learning to be. A result of the love and wisdom and grace that being in a relationship with Chris has given me. There have been a lot of tough moments. A lot of tears and a lot of hurt. The growing pains of two people learning to trust and rely on each other in ways neither of us have done before. It has been difficult. Difficult... and completely worth every single moment.

I have never known a love like this. I have never known trust in this capacity. What I do know is that I love this person in a way I have not loved before. I know that I look into my future and I could not imagine it without him there. I know that this is a greater thing than anything I could have ever imagined for myself. Today I am happier than I could have ever imagined because today I said Yes.

I'm getting married!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life in bullet points...

1. I have been an inconsistent blogger lately. Life has just been too nuts. I would like to say that it will get better but it won't...

2. ...cause I am officially MOVING in less than two weeks :(

3. I found a house! (see bullet 2) I love my new house. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it enough that moving over the holidays is worth it for this house. I have pictures of it somewhere but they aren't accesible now so all I will say is that it is 1,400 square feet of glory!

4. Recently I went on a date with Chris to an arcade. I spent probably close to 30 minutes playing this one game where its like a wheel of fortune type thing. You hit the button and whatever number the wheel stops at... thats the amount of tickets you get. 1,000 being the jackpot. 30 minutes... no jackpot. Chris on the other hand goes... "Let me try" and on his first hit gets 1,000. Seriously?!

5. Those 1,000+ tickets = me getting the biggest hello kitty doll ever. :) So worth being put to shame.
6. In about 12 hours I will be driving to Arizona with Chris and his cousin. It should take us about 14 hours or so to get there... let's pray I can stay awake and sane for the drive.

7. I am SO excited for black friday shopping this year. Mainly because of the fun things we will buy but also because it will be mine and Chris' one year anniversary! yay!

8. I cannot wait for Thanksgiving food!

9. This year I will be missing my favorite BFF Thanksgiving with the peeps and I am heartbroken :( but luckily there are things like facetime to help make it a little easier.

10. I passed my CCRN exam! About a month ago actually but I officially got the certificate in the mail yesterday! Yay!

What are you up to this week friends? Any fun Thanksgiving plans?!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

 To all of the veteran's out there who have fought and sacrificed for our country. The service you have given us all never ceases to amaze me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate you.
This week was crazy and like very other week I had the privilege of caring for some of our nation's veterans.
After a long and tiring week where one of my patient's got a total of 2 hours of sleep and was teetering on the edge of health... he looked at me, tired and struggling to breathe and says,
"You know what Andi? You are a darn good nurse."

It made my day, knowing I could be there for a man who was probably at his worst and it's moments like that where I would not trade my job for any other in the world.

"You know what?" I said, "You're a darn good patient."
If you see a veteran or a soldier today... thank them. They absolutely deserve it. 
Have a fun and safe weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today I am tired. After a four day stretch of 12 hour shifts your emotional and physical stores are virtually non-existent. They are worn thin at best. Working in the ICU is hard. It is draining in ways that I cannot fully explain. I have learned that because of my profession my life is different than most.

 This week I had the privilege of taking care of arguably the sweetest and dearest people I have ever met. A husband who is dying and a wife who has a love for her husband unlike any other I have seen. Everyone who had contact with them instantly fell in love. I know I did.

I have sat here at my computer for an hour trying to put into words what it was like witnessing that kind of love between two people but I have failed. There was a sweetness to them… an aura of the deepest type of caring. In the way she would smile at him and kiss his forehead… the way he would reach for her hand. How she would lay her head at his bedside for days on end… supporting… hoping… caring.

In the way they both decided that now was the time. That this man had lived a life full of joy with his person at his side… the woman he knew he would marry the second he laid eyes on her. And that now it was time to let go. Time to make that transition that all of us will eventually have to make.

Every morning before I would leave work I would stop by their room to say goodbye… just in case. I would hug them both and tell them that I loved them and he would kiss me on the cheek and she would squeeze me tightly and walk me down the hall. And every morning she would burst into tears.

One morning she came down the hall… tears streaming down her cheeks.

“How will I know?” she said. “What do I look for? He isn’t really talking much.”

So we went into the room together and we talked… I told her that it wasn’t time yet.

And right then and there she fell into my arms.

 “It’s like coming to the end of a jail sentence.” She said… the fear and pain was visible on her face.

Today Bethany and I went upstairs to the hospice unit to say hello and we talked… we looked at old photos of him in the service… of their life together. It was a perfect ending to a long week.

The first night I took care of him, when we decided it was time to stop heroic measures, he told me, “This is the best night I’ve had here yet… talking to you.”
I smiled and held his wife’s hand.  And as I said goodbye that morning he grabbed my hand tightly and smiled, “ I hope you have a blessed life dear. A life full of love like I have.”

And as I walked out of the hospital that morning, exhausted and teary eyed… I knew that my life had been touched. And that I am truly, truly blessed.