I worked hospice Father’s Day weekend. I was on the phone with the other nurse who was working with me and we talked about our nursing school days. We had discovered we were in the same class, but she had had to drop out due to an accident and she finished a few years later.
I was sitting at a stoplight. I told her the hardest part of nursing school for me was when my Father was actively dying the professors told me that if I left to go be with him I would lose the entire semester and have to wait another 9 months to enroll to finish my degree. This was heart breaking for me. My Father lived 350 miles away. I was a single mom with three small boys, and I had to get into the work force asap. My other siblings were at bedside, but I knew my Father was waiting for me. I decided not to go. After he passed a few days later the professors told me to take a week off to be with my family, I was floored. To this day I do not understand their thinking behind this situation.
In any case that was 18 years ago, the guilt comes and goes, and, in my heart, I know I should be kinder to myself. It was an impossible situation on so many levels. I live with the choice I made.
“I’m sorry that happened to you,” the other nurse offered.
“Thanks,” I replied. I looked up to see if the light had changed, and to my amazement the car in front of me had a license plate border that said “Orleans, Cape Cod.” This is where I grew up. I knew in that moment my Dad had heard me, here on Father’s Day, voicing my regret for not being there for him- but letting me know he is with me now, always. The bonds of LOVE are never broken.