Tag Archives: Melissa Vaughan

A Gift of Joy

A Gift of Joy


My mother kept a diary her whole life.  In the last couple of years her entries in her diary would only be a few lines, but what wonderful lines! Like “A beautiful day,” or “Missy took me to McDonald’s, had so much fun.” Her last entry in her diary was in February, a couple of days before she fell. It said, “Bad day, confused, but Missy and I had cinnamon toast and giggled.” I told Mike it made me sad to read it, he told me I shouldn’t be sad and to read her other entries. I went back and started reading her diary…Oh, I’m so glad I did. My mother loved me so much. She loved living with Mike and I. Almost every one of her diary posts mentions me, and how she loves me, or how much fun we had. How she wishes I didn’t have MS, or that she is not afraid of her Alzheimer’s because she has me and Mike to care for her. She talks about not being afraid anymore; that I will take care of her. So many times she writes that she wishes she could do something for me; a surprise, grant me a wish. Always wanting my JOY to come back, her old Missy, her sunshine.

My mother left me all kinds of little notes for after she died, and a couple of letters, but nothing, nothing was as wonderful as her diary. Oh, how I was loved. One entry was, “I love hugs, but no hug is better than my Missy hugs. She hugs me like she will never let me go, and some days I need that feeling, that she will never let me go.” That entry hit me the hardest because a couple of weeks before mom died she wanted me to hug her in her hospital bed, and when I sat her up she whispered, “Hug me, Missy. Never, never let me go.”  I always knew it, but reading her little wobbly writings, her handwritten statements of love to me, gave me my JOY back. Thank you, Mommy. Yes, every day I will miss you…more probably, then less as time goes by. And yes, everyday I will want you to be the first person I tell something to….but as you told me, its time to get on with it. You did finally get to give me that surprise you wanted to so badly, and I found it in your diary writings: My Joy. So, on to celebrate your life. Oh, how I miss your giggle, your eyes beaming when I walk into your room and you say, “Hi, sweetie,” or “Hi, Missy,” or “Hello, Sunshine.” Yes, on to celebrate our life….your’s and mine

Went to the cemetery today. Its been a month since mom died. The cemetary where mom is buried is about 65 miles from here. It is an old family cemetary out in the country. I just wanted to see how things looked and plan my parents garden around the headstones. I met with a local landscape man who I know thinks I’m crazy…but I liked him anyway and he understood exactly what I wanted and drew a great picture of my dreams of what it will eventually grow to be. My dad’s parents are buried next to my parents so I am going to try and incorporate the garden around all of them, but still make it easy for the man who mows the cemetery to not have trouble maneuvering around it and the bird feeders that I want there.

Mom is happy there. I took her a fresh bouquet of sunflowers and my dad some birdseed for the birds. I didn’t cry ’til I was driving out of the cemetary, and realized that she is really, really, gone…not coming back. No more sad stories, only happy ones now. Then I started singing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” but left out the part, “Don’t take my sunshine away.”

Its OK to Go

Its OK to Go

My mom sleeps…about 22 hours a day now…she is up for maybe 20 minutes at a time….I miss her and shes still here with me…..I miss her real loud laugh, her giggles, her smile…..I miss hearing her talk, her voice calling my name….her voice now is low….its not what I’m used to my mom sounding…Continue Reading

A Christmas List

A Christmas List

I found Mom’s Christmas list, she had the nurse write it out for her. 1. Try and make everyone happy 2. Give hugs 3. Tell those that I love how much I love them 4. Take a picture in my mind so I never forget Then at the bottom the nurse wrote, “Oh how I…Continue Reading

Not Just a Cruise Contest

I came home from work one day and mom said, “We are going on a cruise. I entered us in a contest to go on a caregiver cruise.” I laughed, and said, “Great,” and went into the other room. Later she told me that I needed to go online and vote…that is when I realized…Continue Reading

Don’t Leave Me

This morning when I got mom up from bed she looked at me and said, “Oh, Sunshine, I sure have missed you. I am so happy to see you.” She giggled and while I was dressing her she said, “Yesterday the girl that was here taking care of me was wearing your cologne. She smelled…Continue Reading

Blogalicious. Patient Stories. Nurse Stories. Tell Us Where it Hurts!

Blogalicious. Patient Stories. Nurse Stories. Tell Us Where it Hurts!

Hello everyone. This week we have a rewind for you but before we chat about that—I do want to put in a plug for our wonderful Nurse Talk blog. Every time I read a new post I am either moved to tears or laughter. Honestly—take a few minutes and check it out.

We’ve mentioned Missy Vaughan and Barbara Taylor Vaughan before. Missy is Barbara’s daughter and she takes great care of Barbara who has Alzheimer’s. Their ongoing blog posts talk candidly about the progression of Barbara’s disease, the ups and downs and everything in between. Oh—and did I mention Missy has M.S.? Together they articulate the “reality” of their lives in Alzheimer’s in the First Person.

And then there’s Brandi Chase. Brandi’s blog called Lymphoblaster is an online chronicle through her bout with Leukemia. In one of Brandi’s entries she writes:

“The litany against fear is an incantation spoken by the Bene Gesserit, a secret sisterhood from the Dune book series, in order to focus their minds in times of peril.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I confess, I use it, and it works. Upon waking for the first time after having my central line installed, I was overwhelmed with fear. The pain from the procedure was upon me, and every movement hard, and unfamiliar. I saw two years of this and wondered how I would ever endure it. It was a dark place, and I looked into it, long and deep. It passed over me, and through me. And here I am. Day 23. I remain.” Read more…

This week we’re featuring a redux of show 449 where we share touching stories like these from our Nurse Talk blog and salute the great writers and contributors that are featured each week. We also have an interview with Deborah Burger on the one-woman play about nursing in America, Tell Us Where it Hurts by Anna Deavere Smith.

Anna is also known as Gloria Akalitus on television’s Nurse Jackie. We share some touching stories recreated by Smith in the play from the caretakers—career RNs—who have also been hit by the failing economy and healthcare costs. Their stories are told with honesty and courage. Share the humanity of what is happening all across the country.

Casey and Shayne also have fun with some—well—rather messy nurses notes, like this one from cardiology: “Patient has chest pains if she lies on her left side for over a year by the time she was admitted to the hospital, her rapid heart had stopped and she was feeling much better.” We also hear from an old friend, Lucille Jones—a rather crazy one at that (no offense Lucille). Lucille’s stories have been memorialized in our Nurse Talk Comedy Pharm…Check them out!

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