Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Long time no post

This week's Bible verse for memorization:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." - Romans 8:38 (NLT)

I'm really sorry for not posting in a while. I am not going to ever be posting as often on this blog as I do on my primary blog. That one is my baby and gets most of my "free time," what little of that there is these days.

I do happily report to you, though, that I was accepted into the graduate program in Thanatology at Hood College and will be starting there in the spring semester! I'm still trying to let that sink in, too. I know that I'm happy about it, but I haven't felt myself jumping for joy. I'm not sure if it's because I expected to get in or if it's because I am still in shock a little bit.

Nevertheless, I would like to share with you my personal statement that I enclosed with my grad school app. I think it will tell you how I feel about this next step in my life. Enjoy, and thank you for reading - D

I am no stranger to illness or to death. In 2006 when my siblings and I sat with our mother as she spent her last difficult week in this life, I realized that life had taught me many things, not the least of which was that there is nothing to fear in the human continuum of birth to death.

During my formative years, when I was a young teen, my father received a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. Our home quickly took on a new air, as my father first had surgery, then radiation, and then chemotherapy. My mother managed his medications, and we frequently had vials of morphine along with the butter in the refrigerator. There was nothing to fear or hide; this was simply life happening. Seven years later, he died, and while it was difficult to navigate the grief of losing a parent, I found my way.

Later, when we lost my father-in-law to a sudden heart attack, I knew the familiar pattern of grief and helped my husband and his family through it, as well as dealing with my own grief over his death. In 2006, it was Mother’s turn. Unfaltering, we all stood by her and bathed her, fed her, called for the nurse when necessary. We were with her through the worst of it, and there was no fear. She demonstrated tremendous courage and grace; things could have gone much differently.

Though my career has taken me from network engineering to technical writing, I feel called to do more for my fellow humans. Having worked in military hospitals and clinics, I’ve seen people in all stages of illness. I’ve been through illness myself, including a frightening intestinal bleed caused by medication that caused me to lose half of my blood and end up in the ICU at Frederick Memorial Hospital. This experience was as close to death as I’ve been personally and helped me become an even more compassionate person. I have come to appreciate care workers from a very personal level, and I feel drawn to help others myself.

I have a strong faith and have recently become part of a local church. At my church we are in the process of forming a local chapter of our “Care and Prayer” group, which provides for hospital, nursing home, and in-home visitation. This is something I hope to volunteer with. I am also planning to volunteer a few hours a week with the local chapter of Hospice, if possible. I’m exploring that option because I feel it is a unique calling to provide for others in their times of illness and grief.

My life experience will help me to provide grief support and support for the terminally ill with compassion, understanding, and courage. In that final transition in this life, I have come to know the importance of being surrounded with people who can hold your hand and walk you through it, as well as to deal with those who are left behind. I look forward to being such a person.