help, don’t hurt

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, don’t hurt them.

` Dalai Lama

I imagine that I always knew that I was born to serve others. My younger siblings, my mother…my own family, my grand babies, my community, my country, my world. From the time that I was a young girl, I was taught one serves with humility rather than for show. Great things done in service don’t need a parade to make an impact; nor do they need to be big and bold. It’s what is in one’s heart that should drive one in service, no matter where they are. And so I have done just that. I have served in ways that I know have made a difference…in my own family, my community, my country, my world.

Point and scream at the tragedy that is a children’s hospital in Aleppo being bombed and scream at me that my outrage and heartbreak isn’t enough and I will quietly ask what are you doing? What have you been doing? Tell me I should be there or somewhere else and I will ask you again. Are you going? Are you giving?

What are YOU doing to help others…in Aleppo, in your hometown, in every corner of the globe where help is needed?

Did you vote?

Do you give generously of your money, your talents, your goods, YOUR TIME?

Do you support, educate and encourage others to serve? Or do you stand on your soap box demanding others to do more because you imagine that what they are doing is not ever enough?

You don’t know what is inside my heart. You are not living inside my heart.

Tell me that I am am not doing enough, not doing it right, not in the right place or the right time and I will likely wonder about your privilege that allows you to presume so much. And then I will put my head down in determination and continue to serve…my family, my community, people of color, LGBT, immigrants, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists. I will offer my kindness and care to millionaires, homeless, prostitutes, thieves, Assistant District Attorneys, celebrities, politicians, media personalities. I will serve with love the battered, abused, addicted, marginalized and undocumented. I have literally devoted so many years to so many of these and more. My time, my energy, my heart, my lunch and scooby snacks, my ear, my hugs, my heart…and so much more.

Tell me again that I am not doing enough and I will pause thinking of the tiny one I held and comforted for hours last night, just as I have done for years and years with countless other babies – children of all of the above and so much more. I see that sweet baby, who has survived so much already in literally the days that she has been alive and I think of that which a baby on the other side of the world in Aleppo has managed to survive as well with her own nurse, not unlike me and I will cry; I will feel outrage because we are sisters and brothers at the same isolette or thousands of miles away from each other.

Not enough, you declare.

Fine.

Not enough.

But you can’t possibly know my heart, my service, my benevolence, my impact in this world, right here, right now. Rant and rage on your little soap box while I quietly put on my scrubs and head back and do what I do…plus a helluva lot more that is really not your business and no one else except for the god I pray to and people whose lives I do impact for good…

and I will give thanks, always.

Tell me, what are you doing in your community, in Aleppo, anywhere?

stronger joined together

It’s been a week now, and I am certain it’s going to be a LOOONNNGGG four years…with that administration that will take office January 20 and those who are probably already prepping for the 2020 election season.

UGH!

Anyone else struggling to think positively?

Already there has been too much ugly, too much anger, too much bitterness that divides…and I am not even talking about Trump supporters versus Hillary supporters. No. Family, friends, like-minded folk literally cannibalizing one another all because one is more right than the other…always.

It’s going to be so much more difficult I imagine before it gets easier. There is no getting around that truth. But we can, we should and we will get through to the other side…together.

We look different. We think, feel, dream, pray, love in so many different ways; but we are all humans together. Lovers, fighters, friends, family, black, brown, white, gay, straight, we are all together and so much stronger joined together.

Or we can focus on that which makes us different and separates us and could very well destroy us; because obviously there is only one right which is why family, friends, like-minded folk are fighting so damn hard against each other. 

Deep thoughts that came to me in the waning, but chaotic moments of the end of a long night at work. After lively o’dark thirty discussions about the election last week, and not just who our President elect is, because plastic bags are banned, recreational pot is legal, low level criminals will be freed and how about that death penalty and everyone on death row right now along with those god-damned safety pins. Sharp lines drawn, opinions expressed…but without name-calling or bridge burning because, just imagine, grown ups; and because we can and do indeed work together and work together very well, especially when we do what we do in my NICU.

We also put on some pretty kick-ass potlucks.

Diversity, tied together and making kick-ass potlucks together. Hurray for that! 

Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.

~ Jacqueline Woodson

 

October five faves

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also the wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills, once more in sight., and the enduring constellations above them once again.

~ Henry Rollins

And October, you kind of seemed to take a very long time. All is forgiven though because all in all, October you were mostly good.

Check meowt! It means “check me out”, Mima!

That moment when you can see, feel, smell and taste that your darling husband loves you and wants you to be happy.

After work nights like last night, I am reminded how lucky I am to be a part of the best NICU team because I get to work with some pretty talented, kick-ass NICU rock stars. But this (and so many other candid shots) reminds me of the joie de vivre  they all possess and share so freely with the ones they love, the ones they care for and the ones they work with. Blessed, y’all! We are blessed!

She bought herself flowers for no darned good reason – except they were beautiful and she deserved more beauty in her life.” As we all do, y’all.

November, bring all of that more beauty!

 

to say goodbye

Try to imagine dedicating 41+ years of your life caring for the tiniest, but mightiest of humans. Think of all those babies. Remember all the moms whom you hugged with tears of joy…and sometimes tears of sorrow. Recall all the brand new daddies you guided and reassured as they gently diapered their babies for the very first time…and they survived, the daddies, just like you told them they would.

Look around and see some of the nurses (literally generations represented) whom you have trained, encouraged, led and worked tirelessly side by side with…including me. We met at a March of Dimes planning meeting, You representing the NICU where you worked and me the NICU Mom representative. You introduced yourself to me immediately and scarcely ten minutes into our introductions and conversation, I was invited to consider working in your NICU. I think that it would be a good fit for you and for us, you encouraged me. That was more than ten years ago and here we are today.

Here we are today with  you teaching us all how to say goodbye as you begin the next great adventure that is your remarkable life.

Happy retirement and onward dear Kathy G.!