I yearned to have one day when I did not think about the worst 46 hours of my life, in June, 1999 when I was held hostage with a co-worker in a workplace incident.
For years, I handled myself fairly well, on the surface. Those in my immediate
circle knew how easily I startled at any noise sounding like a gunshot. I shied
away from violent movies and television shows, even the discussion of violence
disturbed me. Both crowded scenes and tight, enclosed spaces were avoided as
much as possible.
I had difficulty sleeping, experiencing frequent and intrusive nightmares. During the day, I had an aversion to anyone who remotely looked or behaved like the perpetrator. Heaven forbid, if he had the same first name! I even had difficulty driving past the expansive hospital where I worked, which, at the time was less than a mile from my home.
These signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have subsided. While I’ll never forget the incident, I remain grateful that time allows continued opportunities for healing.
I have been honored, to date, to have presented three Forgiveness talks to students, in a Theology elective. I speak about the healing power of forgiveness for me.
When I last spoke for the Instructor, I was asked when I was able to actually let go and forget for a while? It dawned on me, that Mom's death was the first time that I realigned my priorities to their rightful place. I was able to completely focus on my family and forget about the events initiated by a madman.
My Mother's sudden death has had the most profound impact of anything in my life. So unexpected! I now appreciate that death does not send a calling card.
Ironically, I remember Mom telling me she would "not have gotten over it if I hadn't made it in 1999". In some odd way, this has given me the strength, despite her loss, to keep going.
With Mom's death, now five years ago on May 7th, I have freed myself of the pain and self-imposed guilt from 1999. I know she left me words in her Journal that "my worst days were behind me and to be happy."
Today, 16 years later, I work as an Instructor on the same grounds preparing students, some even with the same name as the perpetrator, to be amazing nurses to take over for me one day - but not too soon…! And I am sure on some level Mom knows I’m very happy in my work… ☺
"LEARN TO WISH THAT EVERYTHING SHOULD COME TO PASS EXACTLY AS IT DOES."
This is a song that gives me pause every time I hear it...and I thought I’d share it with you:
by The Flaming Lips: “Do You Realize?”
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And today, my wish for you, dear friends, is to let go of your burdens, if only for a little while...please be good and gentle with yourself today and always.
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