Monday, March 29, 2010


I wrote a 6 page scene for my english 2010 class. Who knew I could string something out that long? hahaha anyways. here is a snippet. yeah i know. this is only like half of it. i love writing about my patients because it helps me remember them better and how much they meant to me.
The plus is, my teacher is heather's brother in law. so he can't be too hard on me, right?

As my nursing job was put on hold for the night, I took a quick glance back at Ann lying on the routinely chosen right side of her bed. Her face, dimly lit by the lamplight, lit up with a youthful excitement as Russell slowly hunched over to kiss her dry lips 3 times. Her smile widened as their gaze met when he stood back up. “Hello precious.” He said in his kind, thick Tennessee accent. She reciprocated with a cheery and loving “Hello dear”, in a tone only familiar to him. I quietly made my way down the darkened photo hallway, passing the dated pictures and scenes of past decades. In every photo, they could never part. I couldn’t imagine how they ever would part as age took them down the unknown road ahead.

I reached the family room and quietly cushioned myself into her squeaky green rocky chair as I always did. The fabric was worn from the past 40 years of use, and I tried to get comfortable. I kicked my shoes off and situated myself in the chair, quietly pulling the lever to lift the foot stool up. With careful hands and held breath, I turned on the white baby monitor that fed into her room. I listened through the static only to hear the love story expressed through this routine conversation of 75 years.

“Can I get you some water dear?” He asked.
“WHAT?” She bellowed back at him. Their conversation tone, like always, rose.
“WATER.” Russell enunciated the words and the baby monitor squealed with static and over-bearence. I turned the monitor down. There was a pause, and I knew he had raised the cup to her lips and let her drink out of her favorite silver mug. It didn’t matter that she didn’t remember she wasn’t thirsty. Russell was offering her something, and of course she would happily oblige.

“Oh thank you honey. My mouth was as dry as a stick!” Her southern belle politeness shone through across the radio waves. I heard heavy breathing and knew that Russell must have been exhausted from hunching over her bed and standing up so quickly. There was silence for a moment and I heard a little ‘pop’ recognizing that Russell had just taken the cap off of her much used Chap Stick. Silent still, I knew that he was putting Chap Stick on his wife’s lips for the night so they wouldn’t be painful and cracked when she woke up.

“I think I love you more and more everyday!” Her voice hinted that she smiled so wide that she could hardly get the words out.

“Oh thank you dear, I love you more and more everyday as well.” Hearing the creaks in the floor, I knew he scooted closer for the next sentence. “Well, I love you precious.” He announced sincerely. The next words were deep and meaningful, said with the lingering smile in her voice.

“I love you too darling. You are my life.”
“And you are my life.” He promptly and sincerely replied, inflecting his voice on the ‘my’ that she truly was his whole reason for being. Though I knew I was intruding on something beautiful, in this moment I felt so lucky to witness such a private exchange of words, and tears welled up in my eyes. I heard the switch on her nightstand light click off and listened to the rickety wheels of his walker on the carpet slowly fade away as I knew Russell was shuffling his way down to his room.

“I’ll see you in dreamland!” Her shaky and dated voice was ironically overflowing wish girlish delight, though I knew Russell probably couldn’t hear her. I heard his door shut and let the silence and reoccurring static ring in my ears. I glanced down at my small hands, sitting there in the silence. The bright pink nail polish was slowly chipping away and I could smell the powdery latex film left there from my gloves. Knowing there were hundreds of minutes of the night shift ahead of me, I convinced myself it was appropriate to use a few of them to daydream of future things and remember things long gone. I thought of how far I had come in my short nineteen years of life, compared to the ninety seven Ann and Russell shared. I had so many experiences behind me, but knew without a doubt that after tonight I had so many more to come in the years ahead. Few moments passed, and I finally heard the comforting heavy breathing of my sweet, sweet Ann, signaling to me that she was fast asleep. I smiled and knew that she’d be seeing Russell and herself in decades past, together, in dreamland.


itsjustmom said...

oh my gosh, you need to write a book! That is the sweetest story ever.

Rachel Nell said...

I concur. You should write a book about all of your experiences with your patients. It would be funny and beautiful all at the same time. Love you, Coley. Thanks for sharing :)

joni marie said...

This is truly beautiful. Someone is getting an A. and i also concur with the comment concured to and the concurer of the comment concured to.