Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor


I went to the memorial service of a nurse I worked with twenty years ago.

A Facebook acquaintance made me aware of this elderly nurse’s passing.

The Facebook/nurse friend has quite conservative views compared to mine. I did not expect a friendship to be rekindled at the service. I just wanted to pay my respects. Jean was a strong nurse, a presence. You knew when you looked in her eyes that she’d seen a lot. And helped many people.

The service — nothing in particular stood out. I had heard the stories told by speakers who walked to the front. The last song played surprised me. Jean had specifically picked a country tune. I was thinking it’d be Frank Sinatra or another crooner.

So then I made conversation, left the parlor, got in my car, saw a green funeral procession visor tag stuck under my wiper and that’s when it all changed.

In bolder vertical letters on one side of it was the word ‘FUNERAL’. Something in much small print covered the other side. A commitment prevented me from going on to the cemetery and not having to sneak away before the end ( tacky), so I hurriedly placed the tag on the seat and headed down the road.

When I later got home, I flipped the card over to the other side. It was a poem, Desiderata.

I read it

I’m in love with it, not the author; this is not an envy issue. It’s the intent, the instruction is priceless, lyrical and at the same time crystal clear.

I’ve typed it below. The acknowledgment is at the end.


                                                              By Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise, and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune but do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here. Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be and whatever your labors and aspirations, In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.


I love how this was placed in my path.


Dying is Easy

 Image via http://www.photographersgallery.comm

Dying is easy.

Here’s what you do — lay your principles in the sand, or better yet, don’t have any. Smack away the hand of that friend reaching out to you. Follow the faceless crowd. Believe the hype. Love fads.

When you feel that ache in your core, fill it with liquor, food, or carnal knowledge. Let these things overtake you.

Put the blinders on.

Place your faith in tangible things, possessions that can be stolen, broken, or disassembled.

And last but not least, stop caring if you believe it doesn’t matter, convinced the days will go on.
If you do these things, you will die faster than you could ever imagine.


Instructions for the Driver



  1. Don’t drop off your friend or family having surgery and come back later with a bacon burger in your hand.

  3. Don’t go “Ooh, that needle looks so big!” right before I start the IV.

  5. Once we pre-sedate, don’t talk so much.

  7. If you are going to cry, make some excuse and step outside.

  9. And the most important instruction: When they are in surgery, yes, please grab a bite of food and something to drink…

having to call the Emergency Response Team because you passed out during their recovery period is so not cool.


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