…After an emotionally exhausting day of packing up some more, talking about my career with a good friend and colleague Vernon Dutton, and applying for at least 30 more jobs– my daughter shares her perspective with me while driving home from my parents house: “Mom, it’s time to let go. You can’t keep holding onto the pain anymore. You can’t continue to live and breathe this fight to get back to Nursing. It’s over. That part of your life is over and it’s time to move on.” I can’t adequately describe how the sting of those words felt and how they seemed to hang there between us until I finally hit the steering wheel with the palm of my hand…objecting with three words: “No It’s not.” She tried to reason with me but thought better of it when the tears streamed down my face….We drove the rest of the way home in silence, each one of us going our own way when we arrived home….she– to her room upstairs, me to the kitchen for the nightly dachshund feeding ritual. Emmitt and Louie are so perceptive, perhaps because they have been with me the longest. I pick up each one of them, avoiding their eyes—because they always know when something is wrong. I hold both of them for a good long while, stroking their ears and talking to them as the others run around outside waiting for their dinner. I reassure them that everything is going to be okay. Somehow.
All I know is….she can’t be right. My daughter can’t be right. Nursing has been my lifelong dream since the age of four. It’s all I have ever wanted to do in life. Being a mother and a nurse are all I know. It can’t be “dead…” It can’t be “over.”
Besides that, how on earth do you “let go” of something that makes up such a huge part of who you are–your soul?