Six Ways To Handle Family Discord When Someone You Love Is Dying

parents failing

My stressful day in ICU was about to become even more stressful. My patient was dying. The doctors, who are taught to help their patients live, had reckoned with the fact that it was just a matter of time. I realized my biggest problem was not the patient or the doctors. My biggest problem was this patient’s family. I didn’t know them well, but I’d been around them long enough to feel their tension and … Read more

On Level Ground

“Have you ever thought about it,” a fellow nurse asked me one day, “that going into Isolation makes us all equal?” It’s true.  Our education, experience, age, and culture might be different.  Yet,  when patients need to be protected or when health care workers need protection, those going into the patients’ rooms wear caps, gowns, gloves, and masks. No stranger can tell who is the doctor and who is the aide.  They look identical.  The only … Read more

Creamy Broccoli Bake

This creamy broccoli bake is one of my family’s favorites. I’ve never yet met a child who did not like this vegetable in this casserole. Oh, that’s right; I have one kid who never cared for it (the picky one, but that’s because he doesn’t like mushrooms and not because he doesn’t like the green stuff.) [Sorry, kid.  I’ve tried for a quarter of a century to get you to like mushrooms.] This recipe is … Read more

Because I Said So

As a child and later as a teenager, I made some vows about what I was not going to do when I was a mom. One of those was the promise that when my children asked me “WHY?”  I would never, ever, ever say, “Because I said so.” Then I became a mom. These kids who made me a mom asked “Why?!” when they already knew why or at least had a pretty good idea. I … Read more

Sharing the Thanks

Tucked inside the folded newspaper with the pile of bills and junk mail in our  mailbox was a small 3 x 5 envelope. Addressed to Dave, I thought it was probably a note of appreciation.  He gets those sometimes from satisfied customers. Occasionally, we receive notes of thanks from folks with whom we’ve shared casseroles or homemade bread.  I wondered which customer was sending  him the note – and why.  I found out when he … Read more