Happy November and Happy Thanksgiving, here in the US.
That day is likely going to be celebrated quite differently this year, given the COVID19 constraints. However, we STILL have so much to be thankful for, despite politics and politicking. Enjoy your great meal surrounded by family and/or friends, counting your blessings.
This will be a bit of a lengthy missive, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the article attached, from nurse friend, Shane Sloane, DNP, APRN.
Just say: Thanks!
Many of you know I’ve recently moved to the DC area. What you might not know is that pre-COVID19, I lived close to the Arlington National Cemetery. That said, for the first few months, I had it on my list of places to visit, but I wasn’t in a hurry to get there, if you know what I mean.
Why? It’s complicated…
I admit, I’m a child of the 70’s. Yep. ‘Even marched in protest against the Vietnam War…until the day I was notified by the university of their policy that students on university scholarships could lose their funding if it was discovered that they protested the US government. Huh? That sounded grossly unfair, but I was on scholarship; so, my marching days were cut short.
Later, when I worked as a flight attendant, I was honored to serve in a semi-military capacity (meet 2nd Lieutenant Campbell!), thanks to the Geneva Convention. You see, as a flight crew member, flying in and out of military zones, we were all granted military ID, so that if (heaven help us) we were somehow captured, we would be treated better than if we were civilians. Why, you ask? (That’s what I said!) Because civilians would be considered spies! (YIKES!) With typical gallows humor, we joked that it was unlikely we’d survive a crash, so we shouldn’t worry about being captured.
It was during those R&R flights, in and out of Cam Ranh Bay, when I met soldiers who had served our country. I also saw body bags loaded into the cargo area. THAT was a real eye-opener, to say the least. I still get emotional, just thinking about it.
First, the soldiers seemed so young; many were still teens. I was all of 23 and clearly older than many of our troops. (I felt like an old lady when they called me ma’am!) Nevertheless, meeting those young men was my first real look into the lives of those who donned a uniform to serve out country.
One flight I’ll always remember.
As passengers were boarding, amidst the sea of blue and green, there appeared what looked to some like an angel in white.
Enter the Navy nurse.
By then, I had decided to apply to nursing school. When she arrived, I couldn’t wait til things quieted down so I could find a time to ask my list of questions about her career and serving in a war zone. [Note: I wrote about this encounter in Channeling Florence Nightingale: Integrity, Insight, Innovation]
Sadly, she refused to speak to me—or anyone; she was clearly exhausted.
When we arrived to the (then) very small, Oakland Airport terminal, I watched as a group of heckling protesters actually spat on her. I was aghast! But she…? Never missed a step.
She just continued on, as though nothing had happened.
I felt terrible. I ran over and apologized for those awful hippies!
She looked at me and said, “If that’s the worst thing that happens to me today…” and trailed off in thought. She had obviously seen a lot. She had perspective. Such a selfless display. It was a lesson.
Sidebar: Speaking of humble nurses, Florence Nightingale, since her time in the Crimean conflict, also had a hatred of war and a big heart for soldiers. Indeed, Nightingale spent her next decades working to improve the British military hospital system.
Ok, back to the Arlington National Cemetery.
Our little group enjoyed a story-filled two-hour walking tour with a terrific guide, Liam Gideon, who is writing a book of historical remembrances about all the people (including > 1,000 women) who are buried there. As we walked, I thought of both the nurse heroes and all the brave who have served our country… so that we might stay a free nation.
This November, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating all those who serve our country, whether in military uniform or in scrubs. No need to go to the cemetery. There are plenty of service veterans of all sorts, including nurses, doctors, and first responders, in your community.
Why not seek them out? They’re usually pretty friendly. Why not just go over and make someone’s day? Go over and say, “Thanks for your service!”
Other November news:
Nearly 600 of you registered and/or attended the Lead4Excellence Global Healthcare Leadership Summit Nov5&6th and I’m happy to say it was a stunning virtual event! If you missed seeing it all and are interested in the digital downloads, they are available for a nominal fee through December…and then they vanish.
You should note that the downloads are only HALF the bundle! Each of our 31 top healthcare speakers has GENEROUSLY donated downloadable items and/or access to their “secret” spaces for you to experience.
Can you believe a 2-day FREE conference + digital replay PLUS the Official Summit Playbook for < $100? We have our wonderful SPONSORS to thank for the ability to cover our “back-room” costs so we could offer such a gift to ANYONE who registered. We THANK them and hope you do, too!
And now for something completely different:
Since beginning this blog, I have been a guest-author on several other blogs and/or podcasts. This month is a first, in that I’m pleased to bring you a timely article written by a new nurse entrepreneur friend whose reflection has an important message for us this year.
Lest we forget, November 13th was national KINDNESS Day!
We sure need more of that — now as ever.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, everyone.