a resonating pulse

I read this blog post sometime last year via multiple former coworkers sharing it on Facebook. It's called, "Please don't look at me like that when I tell you I am a Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse . . . "

It's been over six years since I left my job as a pediatric intensive care nurse in Nashville, Tennessee. But when I read articles like this, my heart beats a little bit quicker, resonating somewhere deep inside me in such a way that even if I never work in a PICU again, I will forever be a pediatric intensive care nurse.

The author writes, "I have swaddled dead babies, carrying them close to my body as we walked together down the quiet halls to the morgue."

This sentence awakened vivid memories for me: clutching a blanket-wrapped body bag in such a way so as to be gentle but not awkward; waiting by the elevator while my coworker signed out the key to the morgue from the emergency department; fighting the urge to sway and rock the dead baby I held in my arms, stifling the unnecessary impulse to unwrap the blanket so the baby could breathe. On days like that, I remember arriving home to our apartment, collapsing into a heap and exhaling into sobs.

These moments most people do not experience, nor wish to experience, but I wouldn't trade them. They are part of my story, and they give a pulse to my motto, "I will be grateful for this day." In life and death, health and sickness, joy and sorrow.