What. A. Day.

Today was already pretty wonky to begin with. I enjoyed myself at the Union game last night (or, not really since we lost to Chicago – badly) and woke up today a bit groggy. Already off to a slow start, I had decided to reverse my initial plan for today and go to the inpatient unit in Trenton first and then a nursing home. Well, I zoned out while driving and got off at the exit to the nursing home instead. Since it crossed a bridge into NJ, instead of turning around, I aimed for the other north-bound highway I knew would take me to Trenton. Somehow I got all kinds of turned around. I almost gave up on the day entirely right there and thought about heading home. Instead, I kept driving and just picked whichever sign pointed north. I had been on this route once or twice before, so I wasn’t entirely lost, but I had no idea where I was in relation to where I wanted to be. Finally I recognized where I was – and I just happened to be right around the corner from the nursing home I intended to go to later. Figuring everything happens for a reason, I went there first as I’d initially planned.

I had a relatively short if pleasant round there. It was almost lunchtime (which is why I wanted to go to Trenton first), and one of our clients just happened to be sitting outside with some guests, so I played for them there. Instead of waiting around for an hour while others ate lunch, I headed up to Trenton.

There, I played for a woman who seemed to enjoy it, which was nice. Then I played for a woman who was hard for me to handle. She was having trouble breathing. You won’t want details, but I admit that I was a bit queasy while playing. After that I felt I needed a break, but then a nurse told me that another man was actively dying, so I headed to his room instead. There, after almost three years with CCH, I played for someone as he passed. I have played for a (very) few actively dying people, but they were still living when I left. The nurse who was there to hold his hand was very kind and asked if I was ok. I’m still working on the answer.

Clearly, death is natural and, working in hospice, I’m close to it all the time. That being said, that experience along with the rest of the day drove me home early. I feel somewhat bad since there were a few more people to play for, but I was just exhausted and came home.

So that was my day. It was a rough one.

2 Responses to “What. A. Day.”

  1. Helen Jauregui says:

    No doubt you were led where you needed to be today. You will never know (as I rarely do in the music ministry I do) exactly how you touched those people’s spirits, but I’m sure you know that you did. It could even be that the person you helped the most was the kind nurse, to enable her to do her part. And I would say that you “held that man’s hand” as well with your music.

    You had an emotional workout today, and it will make you stronger for the next one.

    Proud of you.

  2. Bryan Cooper says:

    I’ve mentioned to you before that yours is a very special ministry. Although I don’t believe in “fate” or “everything happens for a reason”, I strongly believe in “Divine Intervention”. Today you were called, and you answered that call. Just getting that call to begin with demonstrates how important your ministry is…answering it shows just how special you are.

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