Tag Archives: nursing

Sins of the Father…Friday Fictioneers.

Nobody believed me. Not even my own mother. It was 1941. Yet, the Kennedys  were already an institution, inscrutable, and you could sense the Camelot legend peculating in the wings.

Of course, I could never say they’d made a mistake or got it wrong, especially when it came to one of their own. Yet, I’d nursed Rosemary Kennedy before and after the procedure, and knew her as she was. Such a beauty. I’d heard the rumours, but there was no justification. It was a crime.

Every week, I took her flowers, but her father never came. He didn’t make mistakes.

100 Words

….

Please don’t ask me how a photo of an asylum reminded of the tragic story of Rose Mary Kennedy, who was given a lobotomy in 1941 at her father’s request and spent the rest of her life in one. To read more about her story, you can click HERE.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a provided photo prompt. PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll.

Just to account for my absence last week, I stumbled across yet another extraordinary family story and I’ve had to fully immerse myself in the details before I could even begin to understand or explain what happened.

In my last post, I wrote about my grandmother, concert pianist  Eunice Gardiner. Well, I’ve always known that her father was a Merchant Mariner with the Adelaide Steamship Company. However, I’ve known almost nothing about where he went and which ships he served on. So, I was quite excited to find a random newspaper reference online which placed him on a collier called the Dilkera which crashed into a small steamer, the Wyrallah in The Rip off Port Melbourne in 1924. He was Second Mate and a witness at the inquiry. Six men tragically lost their lives when the Wyrallah sank and many of them were married with young kids, so these deaths hit particularly hard. Daddy wasn’t coming home. It’s been quite interesting reading the inquiry reports in the newspapers and realizing just how fine a line there was between those who lived and those who died and even the fact that the accident happened at all. Indeed, if you only tweaked a few details, they would have remained two ships passing in the night.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a crash course on shipping protocols, geography, technology. While Melbourne’s one of Australia’s largest cities, I’ve only been there a couple of times and if I had to describe the city, I would’ve mentioned the trams, the Yarra River, fine dining, art exhibitions and the rag trade. I’d never thought of the sea port, even though we sailed out of Port Phillip two years ago when we caught the Spirit of Tasmania across Bass Strait and through this very same Rip which has claimed quite a few lives over the years.

Now, I’m trying to assemble all of the pieces and write the story.

Best wishes,

Rowena

Courage At The End

Most of us have not had the privilege of caring for the dying. I was so moved by this beatiful story of caring for a loving husband and wife at the end xx Rowena

Sidereal Catalyst

They had hospital beds side by side in their apartment at the nursing home where they lived.  She had end-stage bone cancer, barely holding onto life.  He was diagnosed with failure to thrive, the only thing he was holding onto in this life was her.

She had weeks to live and every moment was wrought with pain.  They both had 24-hour care and the hospice nurses used everything at their disposal to make her comfortable.  Her words were barely audible and she was bed bound.  She had to be moved every few hours to avoid bedsores but every movement was agonizing.  He was constantly concerned about her, wanting to be near her, hoping to depart this world at the very moment she did.  He made that clear, announcing that he did not want to live a moment past her last breath – though his health indicated he would.  

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Poem- Walking on Water

2.00PM

Thursday.

It’s etched in my diary

in bright, red ink-

as if I’d ever forget!

 

It’s almost business as usual.

Just another appointment.

Yet, this one’s different.

Things have changed.

Now, I’m somehow tangled up,

caught in the twilight zone,

dangling down by my ankle.

Still walking…

Still smiling…

only upside down!

 

1.45PM…

I walk.

 

Almost there.

Early…

when I’d rather be late.

Calm and yet a pebble

ricochets across my pond

and its ripples spread.

Something gruesomely terrifying

is out to get me.

Gobble me up in one gulp

But it hasn’t quite found me yet.

I swim just beyond its jaws

and I am free.

 

I walk.

 

Paintings smile at me

from white walls

Clean but not sanitised.

Rainbow curtains promise hope.

So many hearts

trying to turn

these dreadful things around.

They warm my soul.

Hold me tight

in the very arms of love. 

 

I walk.

 

Cannulas,

needles.

treatments…

I know.

But this is chemo.

I picture the worst.

Hope for the best

But have no idea

where this journey will end.

I just want to get better.

 

But what makes me well

will also make me sick.

This toxic plonk

they strangely deem a cure

is hardly organic.

I’m very particular

about what I pour

inside my veins

and this breaks all the rules.

 

2.00 o’clock

Time has stopped.

Bang!

This is it.

There’s nowhere to run.

 

I used to be afraid

of the dentist.

 

An angel appears…

almost an apparition:

“Rowena!”

“Robyn!”

My nurse is with me.

She smiles a smile

which calms all fear.

It really is business as usual,

after all.

Now I know

everything really is

going to be alright…

at least for now.

 

A stranger makes me

a cup of tea

and I lean back to read.

Chemo begins

but there is no change.

No sudden explosion or tremor

spread throughout my veins.

Not even a ripple in the pond.

The sea is calm.

 

I am walking on water.

 

Rowena