November 14, 2013

Written in my journal October 7, 2014 around 2:30 a.m.

It is another early morning – up and at the Smithson* house by 6:30 a.m. My husband drops me off at their home and heads to his own place of employ.

The house is dark, but Mike* is awake and fixing his morning cup of coffee. I whisper “good morning” to him. He smiles and whispers the greeting back to me. I grab a pillow and throw blanket and place them on the couch and lay down as he starts up his truck and leaves for his job. I might have fallen asleep, or I might have just blinked my eyes slowly – but there is little Anna* in her pajamas looking at me with her big adorable eyes. I get her some breakfast.

It isn’t long before her brother joins us and we begin the day together. Within an hour or two, mom will be home from her shift as an overnight nurse. Then she might have a glass of wine or she might go right to bed. Her job is exhausting. But her spirit is resilient. She loves her work and she loves her patients. It shows whenever she talks about her work. Both she and I are blessed to have work that we love providing care to someone who needs looking after.

As our routine would often go, she would come home and relax for a bit before heading up to bed until about two or three in the afternoon. Upon waking, she would relieve me for the day. But my husband and I only have one car, so when he drops me off I am essentially stuck at her house until he can pick me up. But I don’t mind being “stuck” here. And she doesn’t seem to mind me being there either. On days my husband took the car, I would stay past the time she needed me and just talk with her about work, family, and life in general. Sometimes we would sit and focus on the conversation. And sometimes we would put away the groceries she just purchased or wash up the dishes from that morning’s breakfast.

It was only about a month or two ago that she and her husband first invited me over to meet them and their two kids. We talked for a few minutes and they hired me on the spot. It is still the only job interview I went to where my employer offered me a glass of wine with the offer of employment.

I’m not sure what it was about Kelly* that helped me to click with her so instantaneously, but it probably wasn’t just one thing. She had a natural ease about her, driven by a self-confidence that she worked hard to reinforce with accomplishments in her education and career. She seemed to take me under her wing. I once mentioned that I admired and respected the work she did and that I had been considering a career in nursing myself. She responded with excited encouragement and advice. I felt safe and comfortable with her. I didn’t feel the need to hide any part of myself in her presence and I felt particularly calm and aware both around her and in her home.

A few weeks into my employment with her, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited to tell her and she was just as excited to hear the news. She told me that she hoped I would continue to provide childcare for her family throughout my pregnancy as far along as I possibly could. And after giving birth, I could come back to work when I was ready and bring baby with me as I watched her two children.  But what touched me most was how strongly she assured me that I would be a great mother.

When I think about Kelly and the sound of her voice – those are the words I hear her say.

“You are going to be a great mother.”

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