Today was to be a happy day in our farm life. Brian was to clean out the beef stack on our farm and was knee deep in manure when he got a call that he would have rather never heard. Today started out so well. Three happy little voices came ringing into out room to sing happy birthday to Cordell, he was 2 today. But as all farmers and doctors now too well, storms fast approach often without warning, but alas we had some warning…
See, Brian’s grandfather, Pa Cordell, had a major stroke on Sunday night. It left him unable to speak. Brian and the girls had seen him just hours before it happened and he seemed tired but OK. He went to church twice on the Lord’s day, gave a good blessing for his last supper then the great man that was our Grandfather was no more. Yet, today is when his body had actually had enough.
Today, when Brian was happily working breeding cows and mucking out barns. Today, when I was treating strep throats and working hard to save other people. Now I wonder how much of my son’s birthday will carry this mark or is he too young to be affected.
I learned valuable lessons today. I have always been the one that has to go into the rooms of the grieving family, listen for a heartbeat that I know is not there and try to offer some words of comfort. Then I listen to a few words of their grief and stories of a loved ones life. I’ll tell them to take their time, the nurses will help prepare the loved one for the funeral home, and that the nurses will help them through the next decisions. Then, I am off to sign a death certificate and off to the next task in my day. Its not so easy when you cannot leave.
When you are the family with the stories off grief and hope that you want to share with this person who was responsible for their loved ones care. Its not so easy to leave them in a room with others to “prepare the body” even though you know that it needs to be done.
I learned that even in death there are patients that need the time of the physician; perhaps these patients need you more than you will ever know.
I want to thank each and every person who help my family in our time of illness and death. The staff at our local hospital went out of their way to make us feel at ease and cared for, I thank each of you for that.
I know in this time of heath care debate, not many people are valuing health care, hospitals, or their doctors; but I am glad to say that I live and work in rural America where people still care about their jobs and their friends. I wish more people could do the same. I wish more people could come and walk through our fields right now as they start to green up for spring and hear the spring frogs and crickets – cause in memory to a great man and a great farmer – he would have loved to had you over… He could have sold you some homemade furniture or a swing. Thank you for knowing me Cordell – your knowledge and wisdom have made me a better and more educated person for having known you and the world is smaller without you in it.