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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eat Everyday

Today at the hospital I took care of an 88 year old gentlemen with a very sick valve in his heart. In getting to know him he said that had been married to his wife for 63 years. I asked him what the secret was to such a long-lasting marriage. His response was, "Eat everything," or so I thought.

I said, "Eat everything? - What exactly do you mean by that?" He smiled and said, "No, I said Eat everyday. Have dinner together everyday," he explained. He went on, because in the end a lifetime is just a whole bunch of meals and good conversation." 

"Oh, and he added, have lots of patience."

I grinned as I thought to myself, and wondered just how much happy juice I had given him, how simple but true.

Later that afternoon we had to break the news to he and his wife that he would need to have open heart surgery tomorrow. This was shocking and frightening news for the pair. Me and a few other nurses discussed the procedure and the road ahead to his wife. She gave us each hugs and thanked us for helping her through this, the first time they would be apart in years. As his wife left for the day, she turned and said, "Oh, I just can't believe this is happening, we do everything together, who will I go shopping with." And then she left.

We were left speechless and with tears in our eyes, each imagining ourselves in 10, 20, 30 years having to face the unknown alone and having to say goodbye to a spouse or some other loved one. 

Just another simple reminder of how precious even the simplest of things are in our lives and in our relationships. And how dearly we miss them when they are gone.

Bon Appetit'

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