When I was 11 years old, my name was Jessica. I wore scrubs and drank numerous cups of coffee throughout the day. I loved all my patients, but one particularly more than the others. I was a nurse.
It’s funny where our imagination can take us. You could say I created things in my head all the time when I was a kid. When I could be someone or something completely different, that’s when I felt the safest.
My mother had medication to take. She had an I.V. that needed cleaned and pumped with fluids daily. I don’t know the details of what she was putting in her body, but I assumed it was suppose to help the cancer from spreading throughout her entire body. It was to maintain her immune system. It was to keep her alive.
Whenever my mother would need help attaching the needles to her I.V. I would put on my name tag that said Jessica and go to work. I would have all the bandages, swabs of alcohol, and other medical related things to assist me from doing the best job possible. After all, my mother was my favorite patient. My only patient, really.
I would make sure there weren’t any bubbles and proceed to push the syringe filled with the medicine into my mother’s body. We would pretend I had dozens of other patients who needed my help. I would clean the surrounding area where the I.V. entered her body, and simply be on my way — but remind her that if she needed me, to ring the bell. I was always on-call for her.
Maybe the fact that my mother allowed me to handle this big responsibility helped make light of the situation. Whenever I got to be Jessica, I was in control. I got to take the scary situation of this tube in my mother’s body into just part of the job description. It made it a little less scary knowing that there was something I could be in control of. While everything else was a train wreck away, I was able to breathe and get some perspective. It made everything a little less daunting.
I’d like to think that’s how God works. Maybe it’s part of his “mysterious ways” but I’d like to believe he lets us have somewhat of control in our lives. He’ll hand us something so massive we forget to how to breathe. And then with a simple act of kindness from a stranger, he’ll remind us how to stand, and eventually we’ll remember how to walk and soon we’ll be running off the ground.
Sometimes when I feel like a volcano is about to erupt, I think “Oh great—life thought I was doing okay—so it decided to shit all over my blue skies.”
I want to escape from those thoughts. I don’t want to believe just because I’m having a great day, that it’s going to end with a gun shot, a volcano, a tsunami, a rain storm, a lightning storm, a dark night, whatever it might be. I don’t want to believe my happiness is limited. I want to believe that things will go wrong, but things will go great, too.
I want to be more optimistic. And right now, that’s all I can be.
I can’t always be in control, but when I get the chance I will remain calm and collective. I will be strong. I will be Jessica.
Thanks for hearing me out.