Co-workers threw me a surprise going away party. They were crying as they said good-bye. I realized that while I don't like the politics of in the trenches nursing, I learned SO much from these co-workers, even when sometimes what they taught me was how to NOT practice my profession.
I had re-affirmed what I knew all the way back in nursing school that has been re-affirmed every step of my adult life. I'm REALLY good with death and dying. I'm also REALLY good with Oncology. I very much want to work in Pediatric Oncology, I can work in adult Oncology if necessary. That career will pivot into hospice and palliative care quite naturally.
I have learned that when a so-called friend is doing unsafe things, then answer is NOT to bring that friend into your house to try to protect her children from her. I've learned that when you finally have to step away, someone making unsafe choices will have no problem directing those poor behaviors and decisions at you and your family as well.
I learned that community is what matters most to my children, and that leaving community hurts. I have learned this so well that I fully intend to stay put in this new community, to give the children stability and permanency for their futures.
I have learned that I have had enough real winter to last me a LIFETIME and am now ready to go back where it is warm and sunny again.
I also learned I do not like starting over. Despite 29 previous moves, and never staying one location for more than four years my entire life, I am tired of starting over again and again and again. I imagine my children, with far fewer transitions under their belts than I, are exhausted by this.
I have learned I am strong, even when I face death, even when facing death nearly takes me down for the count, I am strong enough to stand back up, to reclaim my health and keep walking forward for myself and my family.
I have learned that I can be a valuable, contributing member of this family, part of a partnership, and that I too can assist on the finances of this family. It was my income that cleared most of the crippling medical debts we incurred around Micah's death and the family's response. It was my health benefits that covered the gap when II's job was in jeopardy. It will be my career that helps me transition to being fully independent as the children age and leave home. It is a career I am choosing not simply because I need to have an insurance policy anymore, but because I love what I do and I am good at it. That shift in mentality is something I worried I would never reach.
So, we close this chapter in our lives and prepare for the next one to start.