This week work is making me do a two-day training. Fire training. I have refused, I have pleaded, I’ve tried my invisibility cloak. There’s no getting around it any longer.
There are a few obvious reasons I’m dreading this. I’m scared to death of fire. I’m physically unfit for the job. I tend to turn off when there are too many things needing my attention at the same time.
And some less obvious reasons I’m not liking this: It’s a training. Two days. In a classroom. With others.
My past scholastic career has given me every reason to dread this. Elementary school: Bullied. High School: Flunked. Nurse’s Training: Flunked.
I just don’t do the daytime-group-thing very well. I tend to get bored and cause mayhem. Or the energy of a group of people in an enclosed space is going to overwhelm me. I get exhausted and shut down. Yup, textbook gifted and over-excitable underachiever. Nothing new so far.
Why go through with it? Because work’s making me. Otherwise I’ll have to stop working nights. And I’m very comfortable working nights.
And what made me write this.
The training will be given in another nursing home. As it happens to be, it’s the very same nursing home I started working at twenty years ago, scrubbing toilets and mopping floors. By that time I had the vague notion I wanted to do something with my life in the direction of ‘care’. While mopping those wards and helping a nursing co-worker out here and there I found my “calling”. This was what I wanted. Taking care of people who could not take care of themselves.
I’d nearly finished my trainee-ship somewhere else when I dropped out. Not because it was too hard, but the responsibility was too much for me. I am much happier and more useful as a CNA.
Twenty years after mopping nursing home floors, fifteen years after dropping out of nursing school, many things have changed. I have learned a lot. About the world and about me. About why I never seem to fit in. One thing didn’t change. I’m still that person that wants to help out where needed.
Friends who’ve been out with me can attest to that. I can’t help it. It’s so deeply imbedded in me, even on the bus or in a shop. If someone needs a hand, I’ll lend it.
What does this have to do with that training? If I need to do that training to keep doing this work, I’ll do it. Sorry sod that needs my help when it comes down to that, but I’ll do it. I’ll hate it. But I’ll do it.
It’s Monday evening now. Tomorrow I’ve got a doctor’s appointment. She’s going to cut into my leg. Still something I dread less than going to class Wednesday and Thursday. I’m sure I’ll live though. On both occasions.
The cracks, when had he first noticed the cracks?
After a sad sigh Tim put the pen to the paper and signed. He pushed the papers away over the table. Without saying a word he got up and got his keychain from his pocket.
Looking at the people at the other side of the table he took the house key off the chain and threw it so it landed exactly on the papers he’d just signed.
Candice sat there watching him coldly. In her expensive, designer suit, flanked by her expensive lawyers.
“We could have made this work, Candice.” Tim said. “We could have fixed this.” Then he turned and walked out of the room, down the stairs and onto the street.
The cold wind was tugging at him, snow was landing in his hair and on his shoulders. He didn’t feel it. He felt comfortably numb, again asking himself the question. When had things started to fall apart for Candice and him?( Read more...Collapse )
“You’ll do fine.” Her mother’s reassuring words rang in Anne’s ears. “You’ll be wonderful.”
She had hugged her mom. It didn’t help much though. Anne was beside the stage ready to go on with the band. She had been playing in bands for ages. This was her first real paid gig.
She took a few seconds to make sure her guitar was tuned. The drummer and bass player started. Anne and the keyboard player followed.
Last up was Joe, the singer of the band.
Anne was smiling widely all through the first song. Through the whole gig for that matter. The band had a ball.( Read more...Collapse )
“Norah, it’s me, Tim.” The answering machine made his voice ring through the room. “I really had a great time the other day. And I was… ehm… wondering if I could invite you to dinner? Just let me know. I’ll be in town a while I think.”
Anne laughed. “Mom, he’s asking you on a date.”
Norah was mortified that her daughter had heard that. It was her own fault. She always forgot to listen to the answering machine when she got home. Most people called her cell phone.
“It’s not a date.” Norah answered.
“Mom, it’s ok to have a date, you know. Lord knows you can do with a little…”( Read more...Collapse )
Jim made his way downstairs. It was just past 3 a.m. He wasn’t sure what had woken him up. Then again he never was.
When he turned to the kitchen he saw the light was on.
Carefully he opened the door to find his daughter sitting in the dimly lit room. Having a cup of coffee.
“What are you doing up?” He saw she was fully dressed. Her backpack, clearly fully packed, stood by the back door.
“Norah, what’s going on?”
The eighteen year old got up and poured her father a cup of coffee.
“I’m leaving.” She said when she sat back down opposite of him.( Read more...Collapse )
Anne leaned forward to her mother who was in the driver’s seat.
“So cool your boss let you have the limo tonight.” Norah smiled. She made another stop and more of Anne’s friends poured in. Norah sneaked a peak to the backseat. The girl’s dresses were lovely. As was Anne’s. They had chosen it with great care. Anne sat next to Joe. Her fellow band member and if Norah wasn’t mistaking a lot more than that.
After a few minutes she halted in front of the hotel where the senior prom was to be held. Before getting out she turned to the kids in the back seat.
“I know your parents are probably going to kill me over this. But I’m going to say it anyway.( Read more...Collapse )
Marianne strode down the stairs. Her dress trailing down the steps behind her like a waterfall. She was the last to be ready. Of course she was. She was a lady after all.
Her husband, daughter and her date, and her son were waiting for her. Daniel checked his watch and sighed.
Marianne smiled. “Fashionably late, darling. You can’t expect me to be early for my own party.” Then she rounded up on her children.
“You look very nice, Vianne. Tim, come here.” She straightened out his bow-tie. “Didn’t bring a date?”
“Susan broke up with me last week, remember?” Susan was the latest in a string of affairs he’d had. It left his mother frowning. She and her husband both had had the ‘you need to settle down’ talk with Tim several times. He was in his mid-twenties, for crying out loud.( Read more...Collapse )
Norah and David were enjoying a slow Sunday morning. They were sitting on the living room floor, taking turns in entertaining Anne with songs and games. The two year old was a lively bright kid.
Norah had picked up her guitar and was now playing one of Anne’s favourites. The little one was standing in front of her father waving her hands as if to dance. David picked up the camera and quickly filmed a bit. He did so whenever he could. As if he wanted to preserve these moments forever.
He knew how Norah felt about it. “Enjoy it, you can’t bring it back.” She’d said to him more than once. His young wife was wise beyond her years.
Suddenly she stopped singing. She gasped for breath, putting the guitar aside.
David was with her within seconds.( Read more...Collapse )