Thursday, November 28, 2013

Goodbye to my sweetest friend

Tuesday was the day my hero left us.
Warren Freeman Handley was his name. 
He was an unwavering disciple of Jesus Christ, an endlessly devoted husband, strong and faithful father and grandfather, and a genuine friend.
He was my Superman, and he completely stole my heart. 
He welcomed me at every visit with a huge smile, a quick kiss and and hugged me as if it had been ages. He had a way of making you feel like you were one of his oldest and most cherished friends.
He served the Lord unfailingly first, and then devoted all of his energy to his family. He loved all of us so completely, but not as perfectly as he loved wife, his beloved best friend, and he cherished her entirely.  
And that love consumed us. 
I am overwhelmed by how much I miss him and the sorrow I feel constantly that I will have to walk the rest of my life without him, but I am surprised most by how full my heart is with gratitude. It wasn't by chance that he was sent to be my grandfather and I sent to be his granddaughter and I am indebted to him for every moment, every kiss, and every ounce of himself that he gave to me. He shamelessly, simply, and nobly embraced the call every time to be one of a few good men, and the world lost one of its greatest. 

I know with a complete surety that he is basking in a vast reunion of loved ones and greeted by the numerous others he served so purely in this life. There are so many that he welcomed and embraced in his home as one of his own. 

His legacy will continue on with my children. They will know their great-grandfather by the way they are taught to live their lives and love others. And as they love and serve the Lord, give every loyalty and love to their family without reserve, and be fierce friends, they will come to know the person I have loved and adored so fondly my entire life and just why it is that we will always celebrate his life and mourn his passing. 

I thank the Lord everyday I was blessed to be this great man's granddaughter. 

I love you, Grandpa. Goodbye for now, and I will see you again. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

An honest nurse

Since I have a new career specialty, I think it's time to be totally honest. 

To be totally honest...
-Is it really that shocking to find out that the only snacks we carry on the floor are graham crackers and jello? I don't know what people told you, but this isn't Costco on a Saturday. 
-If you're a hot sleeper year-round and your roommate is emaciated and dying, don't be a douche and tell me I can't turn on the heat when they're freezing to death. 
-No, I can't put vodka in your IV. For the millionth time. That joke's not funny. 
-If your blood sugar is high and I tell you it's because you shouldn't have eaten that chocolate donut, go ahead and dare me not to think less of you when you tell me it's okay because I can just give you more insulin. 
-When you're sitting in your room laughing and flirting with a party of male visitors and tell me you're in 10/10 pain, I won't believe you. 
-If you feel like you're going to throw up, just tell me. No one benefits when you beat-around-the-bush and puke on my shoes. 
-It's amazing how awesome you think you look at the beginning of a shift, only to look at yourself when it's over and wonder at what point in the night that part of you died. 
-After working three nights in a row, I never have the faintest idea of where I parked. 
-That moment when you walk onto night shift and tell everyone "good morning."
-Also, when you catch up on your work and tell everyone you're going on lunh...breakf...? Seriously, what do you call that pre-breakfast meal at 3AM? Prekfast? 
-When you're eating solid food, peeing and taking one Percocet a day, don't get all hung up when it took me half an hour to see you to change your lightly soiled dressing. 
-Thanks, but no thanks, for your MRSA-covered chocolate pretzels.
-Sorry you thought you were going to get the best sleep of your life here. This isn't Jamaica and this wasn't your weekend getaway. 
-I don't know if I should be proud of my subconscious for retaining new knowledge or concerned when I dream all night that I'm still at work. 
-To the sweet old man who told me I was the prettiest nurse in the whole world: you're alright. 

Okay, now be totally honest with me while peaking at some pictures I should have posted two months ago. 

We made it

We made it to New Jersey. 
Oh my freaking holy mother cow. 
My life is a hot mess that I'm still trying to wade my way through, and I could totally go the dramatic rout and say that I'm dragging the men in my life behind me, but they're totally on board. How? Bagels. 
Can I just tell everyone of the world something?
Bagels aren't bagels unless they're hard on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. And they're slathered with chive cream cheese. And completely rock-hard and inedible by morning.  
And as my Instagram has already made overly obvious, the carb-consumption since arrival to the land of Italians and Italian-wannabes has reached a new level of shameful and I'm also coming to the realization that unless I'm either wearing scrubs or something leather and tight I find myself feeling totally out of place. 

But to recap: Our drive across the country was beautiful, inspiring, and suspiciously easy. Jude was a rockstar, I memorized Pitch Perfect in case anyone wants a play-by-play, and Adam drove afar off into the distance ahead of us because we're just not cool enough to be seen driving side-by-side I guess. We also made so many precious memories with family members along the way and wish we could have spent more time together. Soon upon arrival, I started work with 2 weeks of classroom orientation Monday-Friday and after commuting 3 hours a day from the east edge of NJ to good old PA, I was about ready to die--and then we moved into our lovely place in Montclair and things started looking way up. We Stevens' love to hurry making important life decisions--like what areas to live in--because for some reason we love the adrenaline rush year-after-year of wondering whether our last-minute decision just plopped us into a beautiful, towny paradise or welcomed us at gunpoint into a small, polluted ghetto. In this situation, we moved into the first and we have loved making our wallets skinny and our hips fat while getting to know this amazing town. 

In all honestly, we feel so blessed. We have been welcomed with open arms into this area and the blessings have been too great to go unnoticed. We are truly humbled and grateful for the inspiration to move here and to pursue this new adventure and we can't thank all of you who have been so supportive and helpful enough. 
Where would we be without you??
Probably at gunpoint in some polluted ghetto. 

We miss all of our friends and family out west terribly and hope to see you very soon. Come visit! We can guarantee you a couch, warm bagels in the morning, and that at least one of your taillights will be smashed into by morning.
Welcome to New Jersey, the state where driving a Beamer automatically qualifies you to be a terrifying driver. 

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