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clean slate

chalk boardA new week, a new day. My guiding question for today is this: What is important in my life? It’s all too easy to fall into familiar patterns, to treat one day like another: Ah Monday, not rain again!, check email, 9 am meeting, then this task then that, make these calls, write that report, fix this situation, perhaps lunch at 12:30, then this, then that. If working at hospice has taught me one thing, it’s that past events are unreliable indicators for the future. What’s your experience?

Just take the arrival of a new patient at 7 pm last night. Ambulance attendants rolled stretcher off the elevator to Room 703. The patient looked distressed as I watched from the sideline, with family members following close behind. A nurse accompanied the procession to the room while another consulted with the on-call physician by phone. Within minutes, having barely settled in the new bed, the patient died. So much for plans! Family in shock, staff astounded. All of us reminded of the immediacy of death, the certainty of impermanence.

So: what’s important to you this morning, this day?


3 responses »

  1. This morning I watched my grown daughter choose what she was going to wear for work – then change her mind and decide on something else. I sat on her guest-bed leaning on my pillows sipping a coffee she had brought me on her first trip into the room. Her dress cloths hang in the closet in the room I am sleeping in. Watching her decide, she was at once grown and my baby girl. From the time she was small she was careful about choosing what she wanted to wear…

    “If working at hospice has taught me one thing, it’s that past events are unreliable indicators for the future. ”

    Now I am setting a direction for my day where I will go to visit my partner who wakes up with access to only snippets of the past to bring forward into the present and we are both acutely aware of how unreliable our view is of the future.

    My intention today is for those I encounter to know my love for being just who they are in this moment. This includes not only my family and friends and the people who smile and are kind but also the nurse with a scowl; the couple that is arguing; the man who is hurt, drunk and scared as security create a basket support around him and the hospital staff intervening to ensure he receives treatment. My intention is to be present to all around me and find that still point of pure love that is…

  2. what a reminder…


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