I just worked 3 nights in a row. Now that may not sound like a lot, but I usually work 2 nights a week. With the MLK holiday, I got greedy and signed up for an extra shift.

In order to work 3 nights in a row in the land of Lobre, the stars must be aligned, I must have all 3 uniforms ironed ( yes, I typed ironed) and the frig must be stocked. MUST B READY!!!!

I was regretting the OT when Monday came around and rallied the boys to support my 36 hours away. Their eyes twinkled a bit as they realized the video game police officer would not be on patrol, so they were on board.

28 years ago, I was studying at a Junior college earning my AA in Early Childhood Education  (goofing around :)) and happy to be a preschool teacher and maybe a teacher someday.

My Dad took me aside one day and set me straight………if it was nursing I wanted to study, he would help me make it happen.

I got my act together, transferred to USF as a sophomore and spent MORE time in the library than the librarians.

When I found a job at UCSF in the Pediatric ICU,  IT was a big undertaking. There was only one new graduate before me and she was not doing well.

I studied, I learned, I cried, I fought and fast forward 24 years, I am still there.

I remember in my early years as a new nurse, I was so focused on my patients, I could not talk to the families or deal with them in general.

NOW, I am all about the families and take care of THEM as I do their children.

These past 3 nights allowed me to care for a critically ill 17-year-old who needed me……..and I needed her.

I was the nurse I was meant to be , both for her and for her very distraught family.

She was previously healthy and then…………

My legs ached from 12 hours on my feet, my heart hurt as I tried to keep her stable and reassure her family …….it was a dance of medicine and compassion and if I must say myself, it all came together, with a lot of help from my fabulous TEAM of coworkers! (XOXOXOXO)

I owe so much of the choice to go to nursing school to my Dad.

When he passed away 16 years ago, I was not fully aware of how his guidance in the days of college would one day mean so much to me.

He set me on the right track, supported me 100% and every time I care for a critically ill child, I have HIM to thank. BUT he is not here to hear or feel my gratitude.

On my way home the other morning, I stopped at a stoplight and with tears in my eyes thanked the man who I fought with during my teenage years and did not appreciate fully until he was not there.

THANK YOU Dad for all the gifts you gave me..I do my best everyday to make you so proud of your youngest daughter. I hope to pass on your gifts to MY boys who you would  SO adore.

Take time TODAY to THANK your parents for all they do for you.