Healthier Stay


#A4Amonth Day 2: Favorite Things

Posted in #A4Amonth,Newer Posts by Healthier Stay on August 22, 2012

Day 2: These are A Few of My Favorite Things Post

List time! Write 5-10 of your favorite things about your loved one? Celebrate their uniqueness and be sure to tell us why those are your favorite things.

I’ve led an incredibly interesting and fulfilling life. I have learned to appreciate it through the examples of my parents not just as patient/advocate/caregiver but also as the people and parents they were. We (my brothers and I) learned to navigate the world and our adult lives. These are a few of my favorite lessons {things}.

1. You do what you have to, but always leave time for the important things in life.

This picture is from the first day of school in 1988. My Dad is taking the picture (he was a photographer) but we are all together for the first day of school. What you can’t see is that he was recovering from serious surgery and that my mom had just gotten off the 5pm to finish shift at the bank. She sometimes had to work 14-16 nights but she would sleep during the school day and see us for an hour or so before she had to leave again for work. We learned not to take these moments : school starting, soccer games, birthdays, family reunions, vacations and quiet family time for granted. They did everything that they could to provide for us and still give us a happy childhood. I hope I can do as much for my future children.

2. If find something you love, learn everything you can about it, and share it with others. 

I mentioned that my father was a photographer. He had a real passion for photography, not just the visual art part but the technical aspect. He took classes and went on to teach classes, take pictures as a business and do family portraits for Mothers Day at church, along with other functions. He celebrated the art and science of photographs and shared it with others, including my younger brother who is a very talented photographer today.

My mom loved volunteering. Growing up she was our Sunday School coordinator, Youth Group Sponsor, Emmaus/Chrysalis Leader, Camp Counselor and she loved to volunteer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital later in her life. They both taught us to share, give back and appreciate others talents too.

3. Enjoy life as a family!

We are a family of shooters! My Dad and I used to compete together at the Second Chance Shooting match every year. He taught us gun safety and how to respect a weapon before we ever were allowed to touch a gun. We learned and appreciated all of the lessons. I can’t even think of the word “gun” without the gun safety rules flashing in my brain, 20 some years later. We shot as a family and would vacation for a week each year for this particular event. We worked there when we were old enough and made life long friendships as the weeks passed. The most important thing was we did this as a family and our Mom was the crack shot of the family!

4. Be comfortable in any environment

It didn’t matter whether we were at a greasy spoon, a 5 star restaurant or our kitchen table, we were taught manners. It was so important to our parents to make sure we would be comfortable at any event that we may ever attend. They didn’t want us to ever feel like we didn’t belong. No child of their’s would be limited by their manners. They taught us etiquette and confidence, a lesson I have used countless times and am always grateful.

5. Treat others as you want to be treated.

This seems so elementary, “The Golden Rule”, but it is a huge part of patient advocacy. We, patients/advocates/caretakers, usually only see healthcare providers in times of stress. It is important to remember that we need to be as nice as we can, even in excruciating pain, for the simple reason that “You catch more flies with honey that vinegar.” If you are a compliant patient and you have a good rapport with your healthcare staff you will be amazed at how they treat you. You are set aside from the group and more importantly, you are Remembered out of hundreds or thousands of other patients. Be remembered as the funny patient that every one wants to help and not the pain in the ass mean patient that only gets the minimum care. We are dealing with people, after all, and we are all of us fallible while we are trying to get through our day.

These are some of the things that I am so thankful to my parents for teaching me that I have had them to “Favorited” in my mind for years. I’m not big on “Bright Copper kettles and warm woolen mittens”…at least not in August.

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