I go where I’m needed. On call, any night of the year. Just give me a ring and I’ll be there, ready to hold a hand and offer comfort. I’ve got a counseling license and ministerial credentials (strictly non-denominational), if needed, but mostly people just want to know that they’re not alone.
The hospital staffs love me.
My most important qualification in their eyes may be my ability to free up nursing staff to attend to the ones that are going to live … while I watch and listen to the ones who aren’t.
Some of them want to talk, and I am glad to do so. I’ve listened to countless stories of lost youths, regretted choices, and deep heartbreak. In turn, the ones who wanted to listen instead heard fanastic tales of foreign lands and the distant past.
The talkers eventually talk themselves out and fade away, and the listeners drift off with my words in their ears. Still others simply want to recreate some moment in their childhood where a parent watched over them as they slept.
And then, while they lay sleeping, my needle slides into their vein. I don’t take too much – as one gets older, one needs to eat less. They won’t miss it, and no one will notice one more needle prick amongst so many.
One goes where one is needed, and oft times one finds there what one needs.