Minutes and a Million Things


As I have not blogged in awhile, the writing challenge seemed like a good way to get back into it.

Here is something republished, an attempt to re-spark my inspiration. 



I stand in front of you

With a million other things on my mind

You hold the pill in your hand

I wait for you to lift it up

And please, please swallow it.

I hear down the hall an IV alarm sounding

Going off again

I know that the patient across the hall

Soon will be wanting pain medicine.

I’m sure the patient two doors down

Has died

Did I see her today?

I look at the clock

And panic.

Your hand is shaking as you lift it up

I think hurry, hurry, hurry


(I care, you understand, but I have those million things)

You lift it up and into your mouth

I hold the cup and you swallow


My name is paged

I have a call

(and oh, I  think, I hope the other one didn’t fall)

Then I realize

You are looking at me

“Thank you so much”

you say

“You have been so good to me”

And then I remember

I hope,


What it is all about

So I sit

(On the edge of the bed like I’m not supposed to do)

Hold your hand

And say

“Oh, no,

Thank YOU.”


A Diverse Ramble



Discussion swirled

Back and forth

About how some things are not

Just scientific but in fact


And who could deny?

For they say

There are no atheists

In foxholes

Why would there be here?

For this is our foxhole

And truly,

There cannot be an absence

Of a Divine Order of affairs,

For the filling of the void and

The answers to the longing

That causes these questions

Is found in the One

The Logos

Who in the beginning was the Logos,

And was with God

And was God.

And because I know

That all things were created by Him and for Him…

And that by Him all things consist,

I rest

While the questions continue,

They continue sticking their heads up

Looking about

Without any armor

And I in my foxhole,

Protected and safe,



Ref: John 1, Colossians 1





I walk past

And in a moment

I see

Two worlds apart

At the same time.

You are crying,

He is laughing,

You cannot see each other

But I can see

Both of you.

How are you?

To one


“Great! how are you?”

To the other,

“I’ve had better days.”

Your world ending,




The life of one you loved


His world beginning,

A life with one he loves,



So here I stand

With Kleenex and tears

To one


Smiles and laughter

To another

And I marvel

At the greatness of

The  Omnipresent,

The Omnipotent,

All Knowing,

Savior of the World

To gives to all






To meet

Each need

While knowing

And seeing

Worlds apart

At the same time.




Thou God seest me…Genesis 16:13

A Thousand Words


They say

A picture is worth a thousand words

But much of what I see

Can never be photographed.

And a thousand words could never show you

All that I see as I work.

How do you write of feelings?







I could use descriptive terms as best I could

But they would fall short


A thousand words could never show you

His fist clenched because of the pain

Her heart racing because of the disease

His tears falling because of her sorrow

A thousand words could never describe

Their hands holding because of their love

Fifty years strong while the heart monitor beeps

The tension as the Morphine drips

The respirations up and down and up and down

And then slowly


The family crying

And thanking through their tears.

I have no pictures

I never will

So words will have to do

But never


Through all of this

Even with a thousand words

Or less

Could I make you see

All that I wish

I could just

Show you

A picture of

What it is like

To work

As me.

A Muse about Hands


I was standing in line at the store the other day,
Waiting for the person in front of me who was buying Valentines candy that
was half off
(what on earth was she going to do with all of that chocolate for the next year?)
I was sick of looking at the tabloid covers
So I started to notice hands.
I have always been fascinated by people’s hands. Maybe because I am a nurse, I notice hands more than the average person.
I remember in nursing school one of my instructors saying that we would start noticing people’s hands in line at the grocery store.
She was right.
Looking at hands gives me clues into a person’s life. I don’t know if I am always right, but I enjoy imagining what a person does in their everyday life when I look at their hands.
The woman buying all of that candy had capable looking hands with what looked like
green paint speckles on the backs of her knuckles.
No rings on her fingers.
Maybe she paints.

The woman who was checking out the Valentine candy shopper had somewhat
stocky hands.
Her fingers were short and round.
Her nails were different shades of color.
The colors on her right hand did not match the colors on her left.
They were polished in bright colors, and no two colors were the same.
I imagine that those different colors tell of a need to try new things, be brave and be bold. So she painted them different colors.
I can tell that the paint is not a professional job, so I imagine that she is frugal and feels that she can certainly do her nails herself without paying someone else to do it.
She also has about five different rings on various fingers. I think she likes to feel glamorous. In keeping with her assumed frugality it appears that those rings are cheap imitations of real rings. There might be one real ring in the bunch, probably a significant gift at one time or another.
My mind began to wander about other hands that I have seen.

The guy at the cell phone store has long thin fingers on his hands.
His nails are very well kept.
His hands are almost ladylike in their delicacy.
I imagine that he spends a lot of time on his computer.
Maybe he even plays the piano.
He’s probably very concerned about hygiene and neatness, since his nails are so clean.
And he probably spends very little time doing manual labor.
I have seen thick and calloused hands on men in line at the store.
They are usually holding a carton of milk and a dozen eggs.
They have dirt around their nails.
Their hands are clean, like they have scrubbed them, but some dirt remains.
Their fingers are cracked and stained.

Those types of hands tell me of a hard working manual laborer.
Someone who is concerned about not appearing dirty, yet lots of soap and water cannot wash out years of hard work.

Those kinds of hands are on men like badges of honor, for all they have done their whole life was with those hands.
I imagine that those hands can chop wood, milk cows, build homes and fix cars.
And can only scramble eggs.

When I am in the hospital I see all kinds of hands.
I see diabetic hands, with discolored yellow fingernails.
I see heart failure hands, with clubbed fingernails and swollen fingers.
I see bruised hands where IVs and bloods draws were attempted and failed.
I see bandaged hands, where fingers were broken or hurt.
I see deformed hands and fingers, from arthritis, old age, and accidents.
I see beautiful, perfect baby hands, with little fingernails and tiny fingers.
I see shaking hands, from Parkinson’s or other tremor causing conditions.
I see hands clenched in anger at a situation.
I see hands swinging and agitated due to delirium or confusion.
I see (and feel) cold hands.
I see (and feel) warm hands.
I see people with one hand.
I see people missing fingers on their hands.
I see hands with good veins, and hands with bad veins.
I see hands outstretched just wanting someone to hold them for a little while.
I also see nurses’ hands.
And I know that I am biased, but I think that nurses have some of the most caring and capable hands in the world.
But every hand has a story.
And every hand has done something amazing.
And every hand is so unique it takes my breath away
(think of those individual fingerprints on each hand)
And when I look at my own hands I am reminded of this quote:

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”  Martin Luther

And of the most Amazing Hands I have ever known:

 Then said He [Jesus to Thomas, “Reach hither thy finger and behold My hands… and be not faithless, but believing.” John 20:27


And I am thankful for the reminder of hands.

So next time you see someone, take a look at their hands. You don’t even have to be a nurse to observe hands.
And have fun imagining what they do every day.
What else are you going to do while waiting in line?

Daily Prompt: Right to Health: Words From a Caregiver



How do you decide

How to fix a crisis

A problem so large

With so many wounds?

How do you choose?

Who is to pay?

When solutions to pain and suffering


Should have no barrier such as cost.

But cost remains and so we debate.

How do you decide?

About the pain

Before the ambulance ride

And the ER visit

And the workup

Only to realize,

Dollars and dollars and dollars later

The pain is only heartburn

And not a heart attack?

We discharge you,

And wish you a nice life.

You don’t have insurance?

Oh well.

We will get the money somewhere.

At least you are still alive.


Pour drugs and perform tests

Into those who don’t care

And will go home

To abuse their bodies again

And then return.


pour drugs and perform tests

Into those who do care

Who care deeply

Who will go home

Do everything we said

And still return.

We provide because we must

We are obligated

Because all life has worth

We have to care for the sick,

Even those who don’t care about themselves.

To not care would be barbaric

But still someone has to pay.

We see them all

Every day

Those with insurance

Those without

Those that pay

And those that don’t

Those with government programs

Those with private.

None of the above

Can pay for it all

You come in bleeding

And we wrap you up

Give you drugs

Give you blood

Give you supplies

Being sick is expensive.

But we’ll get you better

No matter the cost.

All I can say is

Maybe someday we will find

How we can make

Care for all

Meet cost affordable.

I don’t even know if it’s possible.

But as long as there is healthcare

If you come to us sick

We will find bandages

We promise to help you

And somehow

We will try healing

A few wounds at a time.

We’ll try to avoid

Thinking of the cost

And when we discharge you

We will say

Have a wonderful life

And mean it.

Even if we know

We might see you again.

Daily Prompt: Right to Health